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NEWS | Feb. 9, 2017

Recruiters, future Sailors, donate time to San Antonio Food Bank

By Burrell Parmer Navy Recruiting District San Antonio Public Affairs

Instilling the “Whole Sailor Concept” was the mission of Navy Recruiting Station Northeast San Antonio during a Delayed Entry Program, or DEP, meeting held at the San Antonio Food Bank Feb. 1.

The meeting began with a muster and re-certifications of more than 50 future Sailors, who were recruited from the NRS.

As part of the DEP meeting, which the NRS holds bi-weekly, the future Sailors and their recruiters assisted the food bank by sorting and packaging donated food items.

“We felt this would be a good opportunity for our future Sailors to give back to the community,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew Hagemeier, a NRS recruiter.

The volunteers received a detailed briefing by Lauren Oxner, the donor engagement coordinator for the San Antonio Food Bank.

“The volunteers sorted through dry food items which were donated through November thru December,” said Oxner, an Air Force veteran.  “We were hoping to receive one million pounds of food, but we actually received more than two million pounds.”

According to Oxner, the volunteers also inspected the products to ensure suitability and that they were within food guidelines for distribution to the food bank’s 535 partner agencies.

“I think the future Sailors are great to be able to give back to the community,” Oxner said.  “I love talking with volunteers which have included Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps students, Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen.”

Future Sailor Cesar Lozano of Brownsville, Texas, was appreciative of the opportunity to volunteer.

“I love to volunteer,” said Lozano, a 2014 graduate of Veterans Memorial High School in Brownsville, who will be leaving for recruiting training in April.  “This is a great way to help those families who need the services of the food bank.

Future Sailor and San Antonio native Joel Rabago, who joined the Navy to become a nuclear technician said it was great to volunteer when normally they would meet at the NRS.

“The fact that we can be here to help people and have additional time to bond together is worthwhile,” said Rabago, a 2016 graduate of Roosevelt High School.

According to Hagemeier, the NRS is looking to provide more volunteer opportunities for their future Sailors at least once a month during DEP meetings.

“This was a great way to build camaraderie while doing something wonderful for our city,” said Hagemeier.  “This also shows the community how much the Navy values making our city better.”