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PHOTO CAPTION:  (Left) Lloyd Doolittle, the store director of the Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow Commissary, (center) Col. Michael L. Scalise, the commanding officer of the base, and (right) Lt. Benjamin Warner, the base chaplain, pose with more than 850 pounds in donations at the base commissary, June 28. The base kicked-off its third annual 'Feds Feed Families' food drive June 21, and will continue to accept donations until Aug. 30.

July 18, 2013
By Sgt. Shannon Yount

BARSTOW, Calif. - The campaign started in response to the "United We Serve Act," signed by President Barack Obama in 2009, asking for Americans to engage in sustained, meaningful acts of community service in their neighborhoods.

Last year, the Department of Defense contributed more than 2.1 million pounds of non-perishable items during the food drive campaign, according to Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter's campaign letter that was published June 9, 2013.

There has been a huge increase in donations this year, said Lt. Benjamin Warner, the base chaplain. This kind of support just shows the type of people we have on base and that a weak economy has not stopped people from helping each other, said Warner.

So far, Barstow's commissary has collected more than 850 pounds in donations and encourages DOD personnel to continue to participate and make a difference.

"Children and families across the United States continue to be in great need of donated food this summer," said Michael Dowling, deputy director for the Defense Commissary Agency, based in Fort Lee, Va. "Food banks stocks have been depleted due to the economic downturn and natural disasters which continue to occur."

The summer is a critical time for students, because they are out of school and might not get the nutrition they need and would normally get from school lunch programs, explained Lloyd Doolittle, the store director of the base commissary here.

"For those who are looking to donate, it is very easy," said Doolittle. "The cashiers at the commissary are taking donations and informing customers about the options they have."

Customers who want to donate have two options, explained Doolittle. They can purchase or bring in a non-perishable item and give it to the cashier or they can purchase a pre-packaged bag filled with non-perishable items and donate it to the campaign, explained Doolittle.

The packaged bags cost $10 and are filled with essentials such as water, grain, canned vegetables, fruit, and condiments, said Doolittle.

Once the drive is over, the donated food from the commissary will be placed on pallets and transported to a food bank in Barstow.

For more information on the drive, contact Lloyd Doolittle at 760-256-6760 or Lt. Benjamin Warner at 760-577-6849.