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Cpl. Robert Poehlmann, fiscal non-commissioned officer, 1st Tank Battalion, serves a bowl of beans to Sgt. Maj. Brian A. Priester, 1st Tank Battalion Sergeant Major, during a Food for Life event hosted at the Little Church of The Desert, July 12, 2014.

Photo by Cpl. Charles Santamaria

Marines serve local community through Food for Life

12 Jul 2014 | Cpl. Charles Santamaria

Combat Center Marines arrived at the Little Church of the Desert for an opportunity to give back to community. They worked tirelessly, cleaning the dining hall, preparing the tables, and readying the kitchen for more than 100 members of the Twentynine Palms, Calif., community. With smiles on their faces and sincerity in their hearts, the Marines fed their community and helped spread charity and kindness throughout Twentynine Palms.

Marines with 1st Tank Battalion volunteered to assist the Food for Life Ministry in serving members of the community at the Little Church of the Desert, July 12, 2014.

As soon as the doors opened at 3 in the afternoon, the Marines began serving meals and desserts to the crowd. Marines volunteering looked forward to helping the local community in any way possible.

“Seeing the smiles on people’s faces is what it’s all about,” said Cpl. Robert Poehlmann, fiscal non-commissioned officer, "1st Tanks." “It’s my first time doing the event, but I would recommend any Marine interested to volunteer because it’s a blessing to be able to help.”

Robert Harris was the president who started the food event approximately 11 years ago. He began in the kitchen alone, serving people in the community once a month, but as the program grew, Food for Life Ministry began serving food more frequently.

“We just celebrated our 11th anniversary in March of this year,” said Shirley Johnson, program operation coordinator, Food for Life Ministry. “Robert took ill and passed away. Since then, we have aimed to carry on his legacy. It gets challenging, but when it’s something you love doing, it’s not hard at all.”

More than 150 people in the community came to participate and approximately 104 plates of food were delivered to homes in the area.

“We here at the Food for Life Ministry are very appreciative of all the Marines who come down to give their time to volunteer for the community and are grateful for their willingness help,” said Wallace Currie, president, Food for Life Ministry.

Every Saturday, volunteers help with organizing the event and serving. July 12 marked the second time "1st Tanks" volunteered for the event.

“Sgt. Maj. Priester is awesome and every week he brings in a new crew ready to work,” Johnson said. “These Marines are not only serving our country, which we are thankful for, but they come in here so humbled. I’ve never seen a frown on any of their faces, and they make a difference in the Food for Life organization. We just love them and everything they do.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms