01/25/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/25/2023 14:15
Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime Commander Army Brig. Gen. Gail Atkins and members of her military workforce spent the morning of Jan. 18 handing out food to hundreds of needy families at the Mid-Ohio Food Collective in Grove City, Ohio.
About 20 military officers and enlisted personnel representing all branches of service from across the organization spent several hours at the facility packing carts full of food and loading them into waiting cars during a morning food distribution.
Atkins said the morning's activity ties directly back to the DLA Land and Maritime mission. "Remember what we do - we serve, right? And that means our communities too," she said.
The Mid-Ohio Food Collective has 680 agency partners serving 20 counties in eastern and central Ohio. In addition to its regional mission, the Grove City facility also runs an onsite food pantry directly serving families in the Franklin County community encompassing the greater Columbus metropolitan area.
The morning began with an introductory briefing by Mid-Ohio's Daytime Lead Mandy Conner. Conner took the group through each aspect of the operation and then divided volunteers into smaller teams to run different stations.
Navy Lt. Cdr. Thuy Nguyen and Navy Cdr. Jatan Bastola, both of Maritime Supplier Operations, partnered together to load grocery carts with fresh fruit and produce.
"I used to do this kind of thing when I first worked in shore duty but lately time hasn't allowed me to," Nguyen said. "I'm glad we're able to do this as a team."
Similar sentiments were expressed by many of the participants.
The volunteer event was spearheaded by Air Force Tech Sgt. Kevin Brown, a member of DLA Land and Maritime's Joint Reserve Force Committee. This was the committee's first official volunteer event at the food collective but Brown said he expects it won't be the last. "It's a fulfilling feeling to give back; it's fast-paced but very rewarding," he said.
At the event's conclusion, Mid-Ohio Food Collective officials tallied up the results and reported nearly 500 families were assisted during the morning rush. Officials added that without the assistance of a dedicated volunteer base the work would not be possible.
Atkins thanked all participants for their time. "It's a reminder to make sure you're staying engaged every day - make sure you're learning from the people around you," she said.