Local News

Food giveaway helps furloughed Fort Bragg workers

Posted August 8, 2013 5:37 p.m. EDT
Updated August 8, 2013 6:17 p.m. EDT

— Furloughed Fort Bragg employees got a little help Thursday from a food giveaway meant to fill their cupboards during lean times.

Local 1770 of the American Federation of Government Employees organized the food giveaway, which offered 20,000 pounds of nonperishable goodies bought from the Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina.

Boxes stacked up at Lillian Black Elementary School in Spring Lake contained enough food for 600 families.

“We decided that we needed to do something for our furloughed employees, so we came up with the idea of getting one food truck, then tossed around the idea of getting two food trucks and went with that,” said union member Mark Doorey, who is among the 8,000 civilian employees at Bragg taking unpaid leave because of federal budget cuts.

Although the Pentagon announced Tuesday that the number of furlough days would be cut from 11 to six, employees said any loss of pay hurts.

"I’ve just been juggling things, trying to make ends meet,” said Ariel Giraud, 39, who has a 7-year-old son.

Dana Trollinger, 29, has two nephews and a son who depend on her at home.

“You just make the best of it,” she said. “You can’t change it – just deal.”

Both Trollinger and Giraud said they appreciated the help offered by the union, which also opened up the food giveaway to people in the community.

“We wanted to help out our furloughed employees and pay back to them,” Doorey said. “We also weren’t going to turn away members of the community that were in need.”

Word about the giveaway spread quickly, and most of the food disappeared within a couple of hours.

“This is probably a small token of what we can do as a union to try to alleviate some of the burdens,” union member Tiffany Lawson said.