MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
For the past three years, the Feds Feeds Families food drive conducted by Marines, Sailors and community members aboard the air station has collected and distributed thousands of pounds of non-perishable food items to a local food bank.
Established by President Obama, Feds Feeds Families is a federal program that runs annually through the summer months. It encourages federal employees to donate dry goods and other items to their local community to help provide relief at a time when many are experiencing economic hardships.
“The need for help has increased,” said Carolyn Newborn, the director of the Living Waters Ministry Outreach food pantry. “Over the past few years, we have been helping more than 100 families a month.”
Through donations, Cherry Point and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing personnel have already collected and distributed approximately 2,000 pounds of food so far this year.
The yearly campaign helps further strengthen the bond between Cherry Point and the surrounding communities, said Gunnery Sgt. Addam Baker, the Cherry Point program drive manager.
“This food drive benefits not only the local Havelock community members; it benefits the Marines as well,” Newborn said. “Sometimes we have service members who get assistance to help their families while they’re deployed or between pay periods when their money just won’t stretch far enough.”
Donation boxes are located at the Marine Corps Exchange, the convenience stores, the Commissary, the Child Development Center, Cherry Tree House, Cunningham’s, Miller’s Landing, the air station theater, and Pass and ID. The most preferred items are non-perishable and canned food items such as canned fruits and vegetables, cereals, grains, soup, canned proteins, 100 percent juice, condiments, paper products, hygiene items and other non-perishable goods, said Newborn.
Volunteers will collect donations every Friday until the end of August.
“We survive off of the donations we receive,” Newborn said. “Our cupboards were getting low. Without this food drive, I don’t know what we would do.”