Sailors serve community at Southeast Texas Food Bank

Sailors serve community at Southeast Texas Food Bank

Sailors stationed in and around Southeast Texas donated their time to assist the Southeast Texas Food Bank during their quarterly community service day Friday, June 13.

Navy community service days are days when the sailors perform various community service projects in the communities in which they reside. NRD Houston is composed of more than 40 recruiting stations and 200 personnel stretching from Lake Jackson to Lake Charles, La., to Texarkana, Ark. The goal of the community service day is for participating sailors to give back to the communities where they work and live, communities the sailors say are always supportive of them.

June 13, regionally based sailors sorted food and folded boxes at the Southeast Texas Food Bank, located at 3845 S. MLK Jr. Parkway in Beaumont

“There are about 11 sailors here today,” Chief Petty Officer John Brown said during community service day in Beaumont. “They are stationed in Beaumont, Port Arthur, DeRidder, La. We all live around here, so it’s important to help where we can.”

“We are here to do whatever they need us to do,” Chief Petty Officer David Williams asserted.

Chief Williams and several sailors set off to sort food for the charity. According to food bank volunteer and food drive coordinator Susan Detweiler, certified food handlers examine each item, which are donated partially by local citizens but primarily by businesses such as Kroger, H-E-B, Sam’s and Walmart. She said stores often donate dinged and dented items, but the food handlers are there to make sure anything that could be inedible or unsafe is removed.

“It all has to be good quality,” Detweiler explained. “They reject bad items, like a can with a dent across the seam that could be tainted or a punctured cereal box.”

She said she is appreciative of the sailors’ assistance during the community service day.

“We are very volunteer-driven,” Detweiler said. “Them helping like this is great.”

Southeast Texas Food Bank executive director Dan Maher agrees.

“I think their volunteering is a testament to their generosity of spirit to the whole community,” said Maher. “This is a very concrete way for them to show that they are giving back to the community.”

Participating sailors include Chief Brown, Chief Williams, Petty Officer 2nd Class Julius Thomas, Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony Collins, Petty Officer 1st Class Sean Causey, Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyrone Moore, Petty Officer 1st Class Andrea Washington, Petty Officer 1st Class Brian Carelock, Petty Officer 1st Class Bobby Mathers, Petty Officer 2d Class Robert Austin, and future sailor Rynisha Moore, an 18-year-old Port Arthur graduate who recently enlisted and is waiting to be shipped to boot camp.

The Southeast Texas Food Bank leads the fight against hunger in Southeast Texas and aims to eliminate hunger and inadequate nutrition in the area. According to information provided by the food bank, about 12,000 households located in the counties of Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk, Sabine, and Tyler receive food each month from approximately 130 nonprofit agencies. Partner agencies preparing meals provide approximately 90,000 meals to people in need each month.

To find out more about the Southeast Texas Food Bank, to volunteer or to donate, go to the website at setxfoodbank.org or call (409) 839-8777 or (844) 356-9084, toll-free.

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