Benicia's Nina Eusebio was shocked when she learned her son Perry, a 23-year-old Army private serving on the front lines in Afghanistan, was having his meal rations cut back.
As the United States draws down from the region, the military is reducing its kitchen infrastructure. That means fewer hot meals per day for the troops on the front lines.
"They are doing deconstruction of the forward operating bases. So they're doing heavy work all day long. And they had no breakfast and they are going to the jobs hungry," said Eusebio.
But Eusebio thought that wasn't acceptable for her son or his company mates. So she started her own hometown food drive, collecting healthy alternatives and sending them overseas herself.
Her collection barrels are now all over downtown Benicia, including in realtor Toni Foster's office.
"I think it's tragic. Honestly, I don't understand why we're not giving our troops what they need," she said.
Eusebio has also solicited some big corporate donations. CytoSport, the company that makes Muscle Milk, donated 70 palettes of its products for the troops in Afghanistan.
"I do feel empowered by all this and the support that I have received has been so positive," said Eusebio.
Her son will be home sometime in the fall with most of the other soldiers set to come back by the end of the year.
To find out more information contact Nina Eusebio at firstname.lastname@example.org