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Scott helps community feed families during tough summer months
Master Sgt. Collin Baulch, Scott Feds Feed Families representative, carries a box of donated food into the Community Interfaith Food Pantry in Belleville Ill., Aug. 5, 2011. This month members from Scott are stepping up to help meet the challenge of gathering two million pounds of food during this summers’ Department of Defense Feds Feed Families campaign. Food banks across the country are facing severe shortages of non-perishable items while children are left without school nutrition programs in the summer months. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade)
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Feds Feeds Families campaign will benefit local food pantry

Posted 8/10/2011   Updated 8/10/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs


8/10/2011 - Scott Air Force Base, Ill. -- His eyes glisten with tears, when he begins to talk about how appreciative the Community Interfaith Food Pantry is of the food Scott Air Force Base members will donate this August.

"Whatever you donate here is going to help the needy families in the area," said retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt., Jerry Messick, food pantry director.

Members from Scott are stepping up this month to help meet the challenge of gathering two million pounds of food during this summers' Department of Defense Feds Feed Families campaign. Food banks across the country are facing severe shortages of non-perishable items while children are left without school nutrition programs in the summer months.

"When the food bank found out that they were receiving food from Scott they were ecstatic," said Master Sergeant Collin Baulch, Scott Feds Feed Families representative. "I don't think they originally thought it would be this big of a donation."

The DoD standard amount is one pound per person, but Baulch hopes to exceed that amount.

"All food collected will be weighed and delivered to the food pantry in Belleville, Ill., where they support 500 families a month, including members from Scott AFB," said Baulch.
One of Baulch's responsibilities as the representative was to find a food bank in the area to donate to.

"Out of all the food banks in the area this food bank is the one that primarily assists Scott AFB and provides to the largest spectrum. I figured why not support our own," he said.

Messick stood up the food pantry in 2006. It serves all of Belleville, Swansea, Scott, and half of Shiloh.

"Right now is a critical period because school has not started back up," said Messick. "A lot of the low income families' children receive free breakfast and lunches at school. For a lot of families those are the only two meals they receive in a day. In summer when school is out, families are stressed for food, so we have a lot more families come in."

In July the food bank had 540 families come in and are expecting 560-580 this month.
"I see how fast the shelves are becoming empty," said Baulch. "With just a few boxes we can double the amount of needed items. This is just another one of those things that proves how important the community is to Scott Air Force base."

On Aug. 15 and 31 Scott members will be collecting the donated food, weighing it and volunteers will take it to the food bank.

Some of the major items needed at the local food bank are toothpaste, pasta and canned foods. For a complete list of items, visit www.fedsfeedfamilies.gov.

"Scott AFB and the food pantry are both here to help people in need," said Messick. "Thank you Scott AFB. We are glad that you consider us part of your community and we consider you part of ours."

The pantry is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays 9-11 p.m.

For questions regarding the food drive, or if you wish to volunteer, please contact Baulch at collin.baulch@us.af.mil or Messick at 618-210-8513.



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