On the ground.
In the know.

Jun 10, 2021

BWF Continues to Address Food Insecurity With Our Grantee MFAN

Keith Whitcomb
Pictured from left to right: CSM(r) Keith Whitcomb (SAMC Member) SSG Jose Gatica SGM Kimberly Nieves (SAMC Member) SPC Cynthia Vitela SSG Kenneth Ciszek (SAMA Candidate) SFC Patrick O’mara (SAMC Member) SFC Raymond Stanford (SAMA Candidate) Mrs. Joni Stanford (spouse)

What an opportunity! I had a chance to help those I have been serving with and for since I retired from the Army. Thanks to Craig Newmark Philanthropies and their amazing support, Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) was able to provide support to MFAN helping our service members and veterans tackle food insecurity across the country.

Once I heard that MFAN would be providing support to my home base (JBLM area), the post I retired from, I had to go and assist. I’ve been with BWF for almost 4 years, and it was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to work directly with one of our grantees. It was an amazing experience to see what MFAN does “on the ground” for our active-duty military, veterans, and their families.

I showed up early on the 5th of June to help set up, met an amazing group from MFAN, our local “Nourish Pierce County” team, Tyson Foods, and an amazing group of volunteers to help set up and distribute food and other essential items.


Once we got set up, and I knocked a pallet of paper towels down, (there’s always that one guy) we got started and the cars started rolling in. We were able to provide over 500 “packages” of food and essentials to every single segment of active duty, veterans, and their families. We had tons of junior enlisted coming through. As we’re packing trunks of cars, we’re moving body armor and helmets aside to make room for goods. It took me back to my time in the service and times when I was that that young in the Army. We had veterans from every segment of our society, from every era of service, every branch, you name it. It was like a family reunion with all of my brothers and sisters that I have served along with and for.

Tons of young couples, barely in the service for a few years, babies in the back seat, and showing up not sure what to expect. The entire crew made the event feel like a concert event. There was music in the background, and the entire team was pulling goods from the pallet, packing cars up, thanking those that showed up giving relief. The signal was loud and clear, that we were all there as a team to support our nation’s defenders, both past and present.

The signal was loud and clear, that we were all there as a team to support our nation’s defenders, both past and present.

This would also not have been possible without the amazing volunteers that showed up to support this event, those that always volunteered with the “Nourish Pierce County” group, and a special group of volunteers from the JBLM’s chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club (SAMC) supporting active-duty service members, veterans, and their families. It was an amazing hard-working team that clearly represented the best of what the Army has to offer in setting role models in community leadership and roles of committed Noncommissioned Officers and the importance they play within their supported communities.

I have true appreciation for what the Bob Woodruff Foundation accomplishes through its many relationships, partnerships, and the spirit of volunteerism in local communities making a positive impact in the lives of those that we serve.

A special shout out goes to the
NCOs and Soldiers that volunteered for this event including:

  • The 2-1 Infantry Brigade (IN BDE)
  • The 62 Medical Brigade (MED BDE)
  • The 56 Multifunctional Medical Battalion (MMB)