KILLEEN — Soldiers helped soldiers during a turkey dinner giveaway Nov. 20 at the Killeen Food Care Center.
“Thanksgiving baskets for soldiers, it doesn’t get much better than that,” said Ann Farris, co-executive director of the Killeen Food Care Center. “We do it every year and it’s something that members of the local community feel strongly about and help make it happen.”
The center has been conducting the Thanksgiving food drive for soldiers since 2007 and has evolved into a much larger community effort.
“Today we will be handing out about 400 baskets for civilian families and 1,200 for the soldier families,” Farris said. “Everything that is being handed out is a result of the hard work that actually started this summer. What you see here today is a joint effort between the Fort Hood Garrison Chapel and the Officers’ Spouses’ Club that helped raise the money to buy the turkeys from Walmart at a discounted rate. The rest of the food is from community donations to the center.”
Each dinner container consisted of a 15-pound turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and much of the traditional items that one would think of for a Thanksgiving dinner. With a volunteer force of more than 50 soldiers, vehicles lined up, packed up with food and sent on their way in a fast and efficient manner.
“My section oversees the command financial specialist program that helps each unit to select soldiers to receive the donation,” said Sgt. 1st Class Cassandra Snow, noncommissioned officer in charge for the Fort Hood financial readiness branch. “This is my fourth year to be involved with this event and I think it is a great way to help give back and to make sure soldiers are able to have a happy Thanksgiving dinner.”
Snow is also in charge of the soldiers that came out to help distribute the turkeys.
“This is all about teamwork,” she said. “Having these soldiers out here shows we are all about working as a team. Loading up 1,200 boxes may seem like a lot but we make quick work of it.”
The turkey basket giveaway is just one of many programs that the Killeen Food Care Center has developed. They will also be partnering with Celebration of Love/Soldiers of America Christmas Outreach along with Fort Hood for a similar dinner program in December.