The 29th annual Food For Families food drive at the Killeen Special Events Center on Friday had a goal to collect 250,000 pounds of food for the Food Care Center.
A lot more food than that came in.
By the end of the all-day food drive, 318,066 pounds of food was collected — the most the Food Care Center has ever collected for Food For Families. Last year was the first time the drive collected over 200,000 pounds in food, and this year’s collection shows exponential growth in support, officials said.
This year, Food Care Center staff overseeing the drive were met with great community support and enthusiasm. Food donations were collected at six Walmart locations and four H-E-B locations. Soldiers from Fort Hood’s 13th Sustainment Command, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, students, sororities and fraternities were amongst the mix of drive volunteers.
“I believe if we teach them to have a serving heart at an early age, they’ll carry it with them for the rest of their life,” Food Care Center Executive Director Raymond L. Cockrell said about the over 100 kids who came to the drive, and his desire to get youth groups involved with the Food Care Center’s operations.
Some local groups have been involved with the drive for the past 10 to 15 years. At one point the drive had over 200 visitors present and assisting. Volunteers carried boxes of collected food off of truck beds as the trucks returned to the Special Events Center from pick-up points. The food was then sorted through 55 food stations by type, then transported to the Food Care Center for storage.
“Everybody here is all volunteer. It’s amazing to seethe cross section of our community and everybody working for a good cause to fight hunger in our community,” Cockrell said.
Learn more about Killeen’s Food Care Center by visiting www.foodcare.org. Food, time and monetary donations are encouraged.