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Staff photo by Jose Quintero
Volunteers from Desert Manna and the Barstow Senior Thrift Store load donated food from a flatbed truck in to the Desert Manna's truck on Friday morning. The fifth annual Feds Feed Families wrapped up on Friday, with Desert Manna receiving numerous canned food items, watermelons, sacks of potatoes and other food products.

Feds Feed Families and fill Desert Manna's pantry


BARSTOW • The summer food drive “Feds Feed Families,” which is geared towards filling the Desert Manna’s pantry, wrapped up Friday morning.

The fifth annual Feds Feed Families kicked off over the summer, where the Marine Corps Logistics Base and Fort Irwin Army Post both participated by donating canned goods, watermelons, sacks of potatoes and non-perishable food products.

According to Desert Manna Executive Director Darin Fikstad, it couldn’t have happened at a better time.

“It was perfect timing because our shelves were empty,” Fikstad said. “It was a real wonderful thing that the Marines Logistics Base and Fort Irwin participated in this. We’re very pleased with this support from our local military bases and our active duty military.”

The Commissary at Fort Irwin was in charge of taking the donations and accumulating the food, which was picked up on Friday morning and delivered to Desert Manna.

Barstow-based Fidelity Moving donated a flatbed truck to take the food and bottled water to Desert Manna, according to Fikstad.

The donated food will fill Desert Manna’s pantry, which is open to any members of the community on Saturdays, according to Brad Nottingham, a member of the board of directors. According to Nottingham, the pantry usually contains canned goods, bread, pastries and sometimes fresh fruit.

Some of the food will also be used as part of the hot meal program, where hot lunches and dinners are provided Monday through Friday, Nottingham said.

Nottingham commended the military personnel that contributed so much to the local community.

“They are always there to help us donate food and time and to be apart of the Barstow community,” Nottingham said. “We know that they are there to help us, and they are a big contributing factor to Desert Manna. It’s a big help and they all want to help us so much. Soldiers are very giving people.”

“It just really touches my heart that they want to give so much to the local community, and a lot of them aren’t even from the area. They just want to help.”

Jose Quintero can be reached at 760-256-4122 or

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