A Fort Hood commander is giving back to the town he grew up in by creating a two-way partnership between his battalion and the Killeen Food Care Center.

“The biggest reason I want to give back is because of the support they give to the soldiers,” said Lt. Col. Brett Gordon, 589th Brigade Support Battalion, 41st Fires Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. “Unfortunately, some of our soldiers have large families and have a hard time making ends meet. ... There’s a lot of soldiers that receive food from the food care center.”

Gordon’s unit, which consists of about 200 soldiers, has been supporting the food bank since October but made it official Wednesday by adopting the nonprofit and displaying a sign outside its building.

Gordon graduated from Ellison High School in 1985 and is glad to be back home, working with Gerald Farris, his mentor and former agriculture teacher.

Farris and his wife, Ann, are executive directors of the Killeen Food Care Center and said they helped a record 7,384 people last month. Of those, 195 were soldiers or their dependents.

Soldiers in the battalion typically perform labor-intensive tasks including general cleaning, maintenance, painting and landscaping so the pantry can focus its efforts on collecting and distributing food.

“When I have the soldiers here, we explain to them what all the food care center does,” Gordon said.

“They get to see how much food is brought here and how many people they help.”

While working at the food bank, Command Sgt. Maj. Jennifer Love has interacted with people who benefit from their services, including some of her soldiers.

“It’s a blessing. It’s an awesome feeling to give back to the community and anybody. It doesn’t matter who they are or where they’re from,” Love said.

“I look forward to continuing our support with the food care center as we continue to volunteer our services to them.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at srafique@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SarahRafique

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