Operation Homefront Food Event Coming to You

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A new free grocery and healthy eating event may be coming to a military installation near you thanks to Operation Homefront and grants from the Walmart Foundation.

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The Growing Healthy Military Families campaign will visit 15 military bases from Colorado to the East Coast. Participants will get to receive a free basket packet with healthy foods while learning about tips and tricks for eating well, including doing so on a tight budget.

“Our military families, particularly the lower- and mid-grade service members that Operation Homefront serves, face significant budget challenges where eating healthy can often fall victim to available time and perceived cost,” said Tim Farrell, Chief Operating Officer for the nonprofit in as statement released by the organization.  “Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. We want to help military families find ways to have a healthy lifestyle that goes hand-in-hand with the financial sustainability that is the focus of our emergency food and financial assistance.”

A recent report on hunger in America said that 25 percent of households with a military member use food banks. The report sparked a series of rebuttles from the Defense Department as well as a cascade of questions regarding its methologoy and definitions, but nonetheless highlighted a need to help some military families not just with food assistance, but with food budgeting.

The Operation Homefront event does both of those things. According to the release, families who attend will “learn how to choose healthy foods at the supermarket; avoid reliance on pre-package and heavily processed foods; plan and create healthy, tasty meals and snacks; get the most out of their grocery budget; and learn to grow herbs and vegetables in their own gardens.”

Each family will also take home a food basket filled with healthy items, a cookbook or gift card and a starter kit for growing herbs or vegetables.

Like many Operation Homefront events, registration is limited to E1 to E6, although locations are available to higher pay grades.

Here are the areas lucky enough to be on the receiving end of the Growing Healthy Military Families event.

  • Colorado Springs, Colorado – Oct. 18, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 
  • Mount Vernon, Illinois – Oct. 25,  9 a.m.-12 p.m., 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
  • Ft Wayne, Indiana – TBD
  • New Albany, Indiana – TBD
  • Fort Knox, Kentucky – Oct. 16, 6-8 p.m.; Oct. 17, 9-11 a.m.
  • Fort Campbell, Kentucky – Oct. 24, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Dorchester, Massachusetts – Oct. 25, 10 a.m.- p.m., 3-6 p.m.
  • Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri – Nov. 1, 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1-5 p.m.
  • Taylor, Michigan – Nov. 2, 12-2 p.m., 4-6 p.m.
  • Battle Creek, Michigan – Nov. 8, 12-2 p.m., 4-6 p.m.
  • Lawton/Fort Sill, Oklahoma – Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma – Nov. 8 , 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Horsham, Pennsylvania – Nov. 1, 12-3 p.m.
  • Annville, Pennsylvania – Nov. 8, 1-4 p.m.

You can go here to register for the event.


Photos courtesy U.S. Air Force.

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on CNN.com, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.
  • Wayne Perry

    Walmart and Operation Homefront…. two of my favorites.

    At some point I think we will need to really dive into the subject about how the commissary doesn’t offer affordable shopping to many families who have learned name brand items are not always worth the money. Many of our families may be going to these food banks because they shop primarily at the commissary and don’t realize it is possible to get most things cheaper elsewhere. Basically a lot of struggling young familues may not be aware of how to shop because we have consistantly been telling them they get the most bang for their buck at the commissary.

    This program sounds great, but when it comes to a basic life essential like eating, our troops shouldnt have to worry about that. It is a no brainer.

  • Cecilia Toomey

    I just want to thank you all for doing this!! We just went today and it was so good for us. I love that healthy eating is being encouraged and educated in an outreach way. I just made some squash soup with the recipe that came in the cookbook. My kids and I love it!

    Thank you again so much!