Food for all: Youth Center children come together to help base community

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alaysia Berry
  • 366th Fighter Wing
It can be tough for some as a military member during the holiday season. Living far away from family and friends can take a toll on an Airman.

However, the idea of giving something back to the community helps to ensure Airmen are part of an Air Force Family.

The Youth Center aims to create those families by conducting a holiday food drive, where children of the base community can participate in raising the number of food items in Operation Warmheart’s pantry.

“It is a longstanding tradition for Gunfighter children to come together by donating food to give to those in need during the holiday season,” said Jennifer Clark, Youth Center teen and adolescent coordinator. “I’ve worked at the Youth Center for 10 years and it’s happened every year, and probably many years before I arrived.”

This year’s food drive began Dec. 3 and will end Dec. 21.

Elizabeth Mosier, Youth Center recreation technician, explained that the drive is always a big hit with the kids.

“They like to turn it into a competition,” Mosier said. “This year we have divided the children into ‘districts’, inspired by The Hunger Games series. Each age group represents a different district.”

Youth Center staff will reward the kids by renting out the base theater and provide popcorn and drinks as a thank you for participating.

“My favorite part of the food drive is when the children come in excited to participate,” said Mosier. “When they think of hungry children, they know that they are contributing to a solution.”

Members of the community are encouraged to donate their canned goods and nonperishables at the front desk of the Youth Center. Hours of operation are from 6:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.