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HomeNewsFort Campbell Soldiers, Retirees lend hand to Support Community

Fort Campbell Soldiers, Retirees lend hand to Support Community

Fort Campbell KY - 101st Airborne DivisionFort Campbell, KY – Soldiers and retirees are giving back to their community by volunteering at the Fort Campbell Child Nutrition Program food distribution sites, helping to package and hand out meals while following COVID-19 Coronavirus safety protocols.

To support Army Families during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, the Fort Campbell Child Nutrition Program is offering free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals for children up to the age of 18.

Soldiers with the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program and even retirees have joined the volunteer force to help keep distribution sites running.

Specialist Matthew Dove, vice president of the Fort Campbell BOSS program, helps package free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals for children ages 18 and younger, April 16, at Barsanti Elementary School. The free food distribution is part of the Fort Campbell Child Nutrition Program. (Emily LaForme, Fort Campbell Courier)
Specialist Matthew Dove, vice president of the Fort Campbell BOSS program, helps package free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals for children ages 18 and younger, April 16, at Barsanti Elementary School. The free food distribution is part of the Fort Campbell Child Nutrition Program. (Emily LaForme, Fort Campbell Courier)

“It’s always good to give back to the community, for me at least it makes me feel good,” said Spc. Matthew Dove, vice president of the Fort Campbell BOSS program.

“I recommend Soldiers volunteer. A lot of times they are just sitting at home playing video games, when they can come out and meet amazing people and give a few hours of their day for a good cause. It builds character and it makes everyone feel good,” Dove stated.

BOSS member Sgt. Tyrus Mantroy, 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), enjoys volunteering and giving back to his community while looking out for Army Families.

Retired First Sgt. Mike Taylor helps box up free grab-n-go breakfast and lunch meals meant for children ages 18 and younger, April 16, at Barsanti Elementary School on Fort Campbell. The free food distribution is part of the Fort Campbell Child Nutrition Program. (Emily LaForme, Fort Campbell Courier)
Retired First Sgt. Mike Taylor helps box up free grab-n-go breakfast and lunch meals meant for children ages 18 and younger, April 16, at Barsanti Elementary School on Fort Campbell. The free food distribution is part of the Fort Campbell Child Nutrition Program. (Emily LaForme, Fort Campbell Courier)

“These are the children of your battle buddies, you need to be thinking about them and helping to take care of them,” Mantroy said. “The community here has always supported the Soldiers and this is my way of thanking them for always supporting us.”

After finding himself with more free time, retired 1st Sgt. Mike Taylor has been volunteering almost daily at the distribution sites.

“I was surprised to see the amount of man hours it takes to put the program together,” Taylor said. “When I first heard about the program, I thought it was such a great thing. Seeing behind the scenes and what is involved to keep it going, I’ve found myself with an even greater appreciation for what the schools are doing for the community.”

There is so much to do, that the staff could not accomplish the large task without the help of volunteers, he said.

“When my daughter finishes school in a few weeks, she’ll be joining me to help as well,” Taylor said. “It’s good for people to realize how much our community supports us and this is a chance to help support our community in return. During this time, get out, help your neighbors and get involved if you can.”

Children do not have to be students at Department of Defense Education Activity-Fort Campbell schools to participate. Curbside pick-ups are 11:00am-1:00pm Monday-Friday at Barkley Elementary School in the car-rider zone, 177 Gorgas Avenue; and at the Barsanti Elementary School bus loading zone, 7409 McAuliffe Way.

Sergeant Tyrus Mantroy, 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), helps to organize bags for free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals for children ages 18 and younger, April 16, at Barsanti Elementary School. Mantroy is a Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers volunteer. The free food distribution is part of the Fort Campbell Child Nutrition Program. (Emily LaForme, Fort Campbell Courier)
Sergeant Tyrus Mantroy, 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), helps to organize bags for free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals for children ages 18 and younger, April 16, at Barsanti Elementary School. Mantroy is a Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers volunteer. The free food distribution is part of the Fort Campbell Child Nutrition Program. (Emily LaForme, Fort Campbell Courier)

The community has responded to the need for help with an outpouring of volunteers who are helping package and distribute the meals, but more are needed, said Elaine Dawkins, School Meals Program food service director. To volunteer you must be ready to work and physically healthy. For more information, email Dawkins at .

Emily LaForme, Fort Campbell Courier reporter, contributed to this press release. For more Fort Campbell good news stories, visit www.fortcampbell-courier.com

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