By Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Think about those days when you forget to pack a lunch for work and your stomach grumbles all day until you get something, anything — to satisfy the hunger. Imagine feeling that way every day.
In an effort to combat hunger in the community, 21st Space Wing personnel are supporting Feds Feed Families, which kicked off June 1 and will continue through Aug. 31. Feds Feed Families is a national campaign designed to keep food banks and pantries stocked year-round.
Since the federal food drive began in 2009, as part of President Barack Obama’s United We Serve campaign, Feds Feeds Families collected nearly 39 million pounds of food. This year alone, more than 4.9 million pounds has been donated by federal employees.
Senior Airman Sven Martinez, 21st Comptroller Squadron budget analyst and Wing Staff Agencies representative for Feds Feeds Families, said all donations benefit the Care and Share Food Bank in Colorado Springs. From there, everything is divvied up into specific programs to benefit as many people as possible.
He said there is a representative for each unit across the wing and each has bins located in designated areas to collect donations. For 21st WSA, bin locations are the entrance to building 845, the 21st CPTS customer service area, entrance to the Peterson Chapel, passenger terminal and the mental health clinic.
“We plan to have biweekly pickups to empty the bins,” Martinez said. “Hopefully there are a lot of donations and they are pretty full.”
If you are donating fresh food items, Airmen can take them directly to Care and Share. If donating to bins around base, please donate non-perishable items. The most wanted items include:
· Foods high in protein such as canned meats (i.e. tuna, chicken); canned/dried beans
· Canned fruits and vegetables
· Whole-grain foods such as brown rice, whole grain cereal and whole-wheat pasta
· Soups, chilies and stews (preferably with reduced sodium and reduced fat)
· Condiments (tomato-based sauces)
· Baking goods (e.g. flour, sugar, baking soda, boxed mixes)
· Hygiene items (e.g. diapers, deodorants, toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo)
“Donations can also be made online,” Martinez said. “People can order on Amazon or Costco or whatever store they want, and get it delivered directly to Care and Share. It’s so much easier.”
By donating online and directly to the food bank, it eliminates the middle man and allows food banks to distribute and deliver food more quickly to the individual programs. If choosing this method, make sure to contact Master Sgt. Randolph Hodson, 21st SW Feds Feed Families representative, to report the pounds of items donated.
No matter the method of donating, whether it’s online, by dropping items off at Care and Share or by filling the bins across base, consider donating what you can to help show support for the community and a program dedicated to feeding families across America.