Jul 10, 2010 7:47 PM by Matt Stafford

Struggling military families getting a boost from local vendors

It's tough times for many military families. With one or both parents deployed, money can be tight.

However, a group of people is trying to help.

On a hot summer day, cool watermelon is a nice solution; and Randy Horton has plenty of takers at his produce stand in Widefield.

"I wear my Marine Corp hat all the time because I was proud to be a Marine." says Horton, co-owner of Horton's Farm. He's one of the vendors at the Renaissance and Artisan Farmer's Market outside of the Widefield Community Center on Saturdays.

Horton's military pride shows in his work. This summer, Horton and the other vendors are planning a food drive to donate to military families.

If you bring two non-perishable food items, you get a 10 percent discount to any of the stands. The help goes to military families, and Horton says he's seen recently through work with local food pantries that they could use a hand.

"40 to 50 percent maybe of the wives whose husbands are overseas come to the food pantries," says Horton. They won't be able to feed the entire army, but it's a start. "Financially this helps."

"A lot of people don't realize, but soldiers don't get paid that much," says Kandida Reeves, who is former military and stopping by after a nearby softball game to check out the stands.

Reeves thinks the food drive is a good idea.

"They're the ones that need the most help and they're fighting for our country" Reeves says.

"We need to give something back and we need to start fighting for them too," adds Suzanne Taylor, one of the vendors and an organizer of the food drive. "It's our responsibility as a community to get out there and show them that we care."

The food they collect will hopefully be a small part of saying thanks.

You can find these vendors in the park at the Widefield Community Center on Saturdays until August 28th from 9 to 2 p.m.  The food drive will last all summer.


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