HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Hill customers purchased 295 bags of groceries for the Feds Feed Families campaign that began Aug. 10 and continued through Oct. 15 at the Hill Commissary.
The Hill Commissary served as a common collection point for the campaign, which is a program that serves to collect food items and then donate to area food banks.
This year, volunteers from Hill’s Airman’s Attic picked up the donated groceries and delivered them to the food pantry at Family Connection in Layton.
Bruno Ortiz, Hill Commissary manager, said the success of the campaign depended on the generosity of the store’s customers, many who are military retirees and live on a fixed income. Ortiz said he’s consistently impressed with the kindness of customers.
The average cost per bag was $10, which came to approximately $2950 of donated groceries.
“(Feds Feed Families) started with the local area food banks just in the D.C. area. It was only for them,” said Randy Eller, chief of the Defense Commissary Agency’s U.S. distribution, equipment, property and recycling division. “The Pentagon and all those people would participate, and they would put out boxes so people would donate. They got us interested, and we took it from the capital area and put it in every commissary we have in the United States.”
This year marked the ninth consecutive year commissaries have participated.
“For their part, commissary employees and patrons collected 1.5 million pounds, or 60 percent of the total DOD donation,” said Eller. “DeCA’s 2017 total increased by 480,000 pounds from 2016. We’ve got it down to a fine art now. After you get past the first couple of times it’s pretty smooth, and the stores are used to doing it.”
For more information on this campaign, go to the United States Department of Agriculture website, www.usda.gov/fedsfeedfamilies.