Adopt-a-Coastie: DC area USO collecting food today

Cover Image
Photo credit Courtesy of USO

USO-Metro  is collecting food today in their Adopt-a-Coastie program in hopes of feeding Coast Guard families in the D.C. Metro area. 

"USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore (USO-Metro) has been providing support to local Coast Guard members and their families since the start of the shutdown, especially through our Super Market Sweeps and Your USO Meal (YUM) programs," says Michelle Shortencarrier, USO-Metro Senior Manager, Media & Communications. "Over the last few days, as it became apparent members of the Coast Guard would indeed be missing a paycheck, we knew we had to do more."

With approximately 2,600 Coast Guard members stationed in the National Capital Region working without pay, USO-Metro is reaching out to individuals with a military ID or CAC card to deliver a ready-to-go pre-packed grocery bags with the items listed below. For quick delivery to the families, it is important the items be pre-packed in a grocery bag.

You don't even need to think about what you donate:  they're prepared a grocery list that would support a family of four and includes fruit, peanut butter & jelly, mac and cheese, and a variety of canned goods and non-perishables. Additionally requested (but not required) are toiletries and gift cards for gas. 

Image 1

"Understanding members of our military, we know that they want to stand as one with their fellow brothers-and-sisters-in-arms," continues Michelle. "Since we have USO Centers located on military installations, and we have the infrastructure and the hundreds of volunteers needed to organize such an endeavor, we decided this was the best way to lend our assistance on behalf of our local military community."

The deadline for drop-offs of pre-packed grocery bags is today, Thursday, Jan. 24 and donations can be made at the following locations and times:

USO Fort Meade Center

8612 6th Armored Cavalry Road, Fort Meade, MD 20755

9:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m.


USO Warrior and Family Center Fort Belvoir

5940 9th Street, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060

6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.


Coast Guard active duty members and dependents must bring their military ID to pick up their grocery bag starting Friday, Jan. 25. Both locations will be supporting the donation collection as well as the hand-off to the Coast Guard families during their regular business hours (listed above). 

"We will continue this program as long as the government shutdown is taking place," assures Michelle.

If you're interested in helping the USO out and adopting a Coastie, click here to sign-up. For more information, contact the Ft. Belvoir USO at (571) 267-2080 or


Want to get more connected to the great stories and resources Connecting Vets has to offer? Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter.