Popcorn for the Troops

By: Sarah Platt Email
By: Sarah Platt Email

Each week, families and friends of soldiers send care packages overseas. And this week, an extra special one is heading to Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. Popcorn from what many call "The Popcorn Capital of the World,” Valparaiso, Indiana, will soon be on it's way to Afghanistan.

It started after a local airman from Valparaiso asked his father for some help. Efforts have since snow-balled, making it a community effort to get popcorn to hundreds of troops there.

Gary Fischer's son, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Fischer, recently took over command of 800 soldiers serving in Afghanistan. The team is on a humanitarian mission there, helping to rebuild schools and hospitals. They don't get much downtime, but when they do, the servicemen and women like to watch movies on Friday night.

Because the Lieutenant Colonel Fischer is from the popcorn capital, he asked his dad for some help in getting a load to his servicemen and women. Family Time Snacks, Inc. is donating a pallet, about 700 pounds of popcorn!

And many members of the community have made generous donations to help cover the high costs of shipping. "He said, 'Dad, I’ve always been to Popcorn Festival, want to treat my guys, let them know about Valparaiso and how good popcorn is," says Gary Fischer.

"Their only recreation over there is popcorn and movies. I think it's really important to have something to do, real important," says Joe Glusak, Plant Manager and CEO of Family Time Snacks, Inc.

A Chicago company is also giving a generous discount on a popcorn-making machine, so the soldiers can enjoy the popcorn at it's best. The first few cases of popcorn will likely be mailed out on Friday. The pallet of popcorn will go out sometime in the next few weeks

According to the popcorn makers calculations, the 700 pounds of kernels should last for at least a few months of movie nights!


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