SANFORD, Maine -- Sailors assigned to the Los Angeles attack submarine USS Miami (SSN 755) are helping out their sponsor city of Sanford by collecting non-perishable food items and donating them to the city's food pantry, Nov. 16.
"We are working to collect and deliver somewhere around 1,000 pounds of non-perishable food to the pantry today," said USS Miami Chief of the Boat, Master Chief Yeoman Tyrus R. Rock.
Rock added that the response from the crew to support the food drive, when it was launched on Nov. 5, was immediate.
"On the third day of the food drive we had to send over a load of food early because we had nowhere else to keep it. That first load was nearly 250 pounds," said Rock, who added that each division aboard the submarine worked together to donate food for the pantry. "We have partnered with our host city on a few things for the Sailors, but this has been our first opportunity to give back to them as an entire crew."
Rock was impressed with his crew's support of the food drive highlighting one of his Sailors, Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (SS) Keith Stewart who led the charge for collecting donations.
"He took charge of the food drive and his actions served to motivate the rest of the crew," said Rock.
Rock also added that the crew had some additional motivation to donate the most food. "The division that donates the most food not only gets bragging rights, but also a day of liberty for the winning group."
With food donations exceeding 1,200 pounds, Carol Cail, a representative of the Sanford food pantry said the items donated will go a long way in helping those that truly need the food.
"Their donation means that a lot of people are going to have food, and hopefully it will carry us into the winter months," said Cail, who serves as the co-treasury of the pantry. "The increase and demand for food has grown considerably."
Cail added that the donation from USS Miami is the largest donation they have received this year.
Miami, currently undergoing maintenance and several system upgrades at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, is the third Navy vessel to bear the name of the city of Miami, Fla.