Hill food drive helps Family Connection Center

Tuesday , September 02, 2014 - 4:22 PM

Standard-Examiner correspondent

LAYTON — It was an early Christmas for the Layton Family Connection Center on State Road 193 when airmen from Hill Air Force Base showed up with thousands of pounds of nonperishable food items for the Feds Feed Families Campaign.

Military bases across the nation are competing against one another to see who can collect the most food for the event, which began on June 1 and ended on Aug. 27. As far as Hill was aware, its team was in the lead, with 11,877 pounds of food having been delivered to the Layton center over the last couple of weeks, but the base was neck-and-neck with Hurlburt Field in Florida.

Hill even had a late start, according to Master Sgt. Shaun Krizek, who wasn’t notified about the campaign until the end of July, two months into the campaign. “This is an attest to the folks here on base who have our backs and have generous hearts,” Krizek said.

It wouldn’t have been possible without the 20 airmen who helped bring the campaign to fruition on base, going door to door, helping people on base clean out their pantries and distributing food collection boxes across base.

“I just can’t fathom how all these people come together to make this happen,” Krizek said, figuring each of the airmen donated about 40 hours for the campaign through the month of August.

Originally, Krizek thought it would be nice to just reach 1,000 pounds of donated food, but obviously, the donations far exceeded his expectations and the timing couldn’t have been better for Layton’s Family Connection Center, the local food bank Hill chose as its drop-off location for the donated food.

“They just showed up one day and asked if we could be their drop-off site, and every other day for two weeks, they dropped off nearly 3,000 pounds of food, which is great for us because we are getting over our summer months, and food is low, one of the reasons being a lot of families that needed food after all of the back-to-school expenses this month,” Connection Center Director Gene Lopez said. “We are just so excited because we have pallets and pallets of high-end food for our clients.”

The Layton Family Connection Center serves about 11,800 people in Davis County. Lopez says the food supply being boosted for their families is important, but for him, seeing the community involvement is exciting.

“That’s what is the best about this is that they are doing what they can do to help the low-income families of the community,” Lopez said.

It was exactly why Airman Austin Woods, who lives on base, got involved.

“It’s rare you get to help out in just the community because usually we are helping our country, but considering this is my home now, why not help my new family members here?”

When asked what the prize is if Hill wins the top honors with the most food donated by a military installation in the country, Krizek said there is no prize, just bragging rights, and that’s all the folks at Hill need.

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