Maj. Gen. Alfred Stewart (second from left) , Air Force Personnel Center commander, joins Jacob Love, AFPC entitlements branch, Chief Master Sgt. Rubin Gonzales, AFPC command chief and Todd Fore, AFPC executive director, at a Feds Feeds Families food bank donation barrel during a collection event held at AFPC on Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas Aug. 15. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rich McFadden) (Photo by Rich McFadden)
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-Texas —
Feds Feed Families, a national effort urging federal employees to donate nonperishable food to food banks, began operating in San Antonio in 2011.
Thirty local federal agencies collected 30,429 pounds of food for the San Antonio Food Bank, earning the Alamo Federal Executive Board the top-earner award among 27 other federal executive boards across the nation, Bruce Bebow, AFEB administrative support technician, said.
This year, 18 agencies from San Antonio, including some from Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, have participated, and Ellen Nelson, AFEB executive director, said the collection numbers have a chance of surpassing last year's total.
Collections have been taken from base since May and will wrap up the end of this month.
The donations are collected by the AFEB at scheduled times once a month, where they are then delivered to the San Antonio Food Bank.
Specifically, Nelson and Bebow have been responsible for making stops to local agencies one at a time during the sultry summer months to pick up the rations.
"Bruce and I distribute 30 red barrels across San Antonio and do three big pickups (one per month for three months)," Nelson said. "It's a lot of work, but it's a great picture to see the barrels full of food on our truck."
Agencies within the Air Force that have made strong donations at Randolph include Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Manpower Agency and Air Force Personnel Center.
The total volume of food collected for June and July are 1,765 pounds for AETC, 715 pounds for AFPC and 337 pounds for AFMA.
On Aug. 15, AFPC, Bldg. 499, held a morning collection drive to spark interest for Feds Feed Families.
"AFPC is our support agency for AFEB," Bebow said. "We knew about their mini-drive because we're on the mailing list, but I haven't been invited to anything like that at other federal agencies in San Antonio."
Desirable nonperishable foods Feds Feed Families looks for are listed in their "12 most wanted" list, which includes peanut butter; cereal; tuna; beans; rice; macaroni and cheese; chili; canned stew; soups; canned luncheon meats; boxed or canned full meals; and pop-top food items, Bebow said.
With a final collection date on Aug. 28, Master Sgt. Shaun Abell, Feds Feed Families coordinator on Randolph from the 558th Flying Training Squadron, hopes to see a lot of charity from base members.
"We are rapidly approaching the end of the Feds Feed Families campaign, but there is still plenty of time to donate to this outstanding cause," he said. "With a late push, I believe we can close this campaign out on a positive note."
Abell said people can find a red barrel in various locations across base to drop off food. The donations will be distributed by the San Antonio Food Bank to assist local families in need.
Collections for Aug. 28 will be gathered starting at 8:30 a.m.
"It's about feeding communities in San Antonio," Nelson said. "It's the best part of our job."