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News | Nov. 18, 2021

Teambuilding event allows DLA Aviation employees to “Feed More” of the community’s school-aged children

By Rennae Kimbrough, deputy chief Engines & Airframes Division I, DLA Aviation’s Supplier Operations Commodities Directorate

On a normal day, the contract and product specialists assigned to the Engines and Airframes Division I within the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation’s Supplier Operations Commodities Directorate are knee deep getting spare aviation items on contract and delivered to our warfighters. Whether it’s awarding purchase and delivery orders or responding to referrals and coordinating on product quality deficiency reports, the team is typically hard at work supporting the agency’s mission.

However, on two separate days in November, some of these same folks switched gears, going from providing outstanding support to the warfighter to providing outstanding support to the local Richmond community.

Keisha Brooks, a procurement supervisor, reached out to Feed More and coordinated a teambuilding/volunteer event for division members.

“I thought it would be beneficial to provide service to our local community. I have seen Feed More volunteers in local businesses and asked for their website,” Brooks said. “Once I contacted the volunteer coordinator for Richmond, I knew this was an activity for our division. We were able to help children in our local communities as a team and it was very rewarding.”

Feed More is the Richmond, Virginia, based non-profit organization established in 2008 after a formal merger of the Central Virginia Food Bank and Meals on Wheels programs. Feed More collects, prepares and distributes food to neighbors in need. With a service area that stretches across 29 counties and five cities, Feed More’s comprehensive programs and agency networks are dedicated to providing neighbors who face hunger with one of the most basic necessities: nourishment.

On Nov. 2nd and 9th, different groups of division volunteers  made Brooks’ vision a reality. They went to the Feed More facility, just on the outskirts of downtown Richmond on Rhoadmiller Street. Once there, they worked on an assembly line of sorts to put together some 2,400 backpacks filled with non-perishable food items as part of the Feed More Backpack Program.

According to Feed More’s website “when students leave school for the weekend, the last thing they should have to worry about is how they are going to get their next meal. Thanks to Feed More’s Backpack Program, weekends are worry free for our region’s kids! Feed More’s Backpack program provides children who don’t have enough to eat with nutritious, easy-to-prepare food at times when other resources are not available.”

The concept is simple; children at risk of weekend hunger receive a bag of food that is child-friendly, nutritious, non-perishable and easy to eat. Partnering with local schools, backpacks are distributed every Friday so that children have meals for the weekend. Each backpack provides enough food that a child can easily assemble into six healthy meals. This helps ensure that children will have food over the weekend and return to school on Monday ready to learn.

This was a rewarding chance for us to get together as a team. The event proved to be the epitome of teamwork and a chance for the group to step away from their daily duties and have a chance to bond, all the while giving back to the community.

Division Chief Mark Dobranski said volunteering at Feed More was the perfect choice for a team- building event.

“It was an opportunity for many in the division to meet each other for the first time or to reconnect with co-workers they haven’t seen in 18 months. More importantly, it allowed the division to come together in a meaningful and rewarding way,” he said.