Fair hosting 'Drop Zone' drive today to send 'care' packages to deployed troops serving in Middle East

Fair offering free admission to those who bring 2 'Request List' items

The Alameda County Fair is hosting its first annual "Drop Zone Drive" from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, a drive conducted by the Blue Star Moms organization that sends care packages to thousands of deployed troops twice a year.

The Fair will offer free admission to everyone who brings two items needed by Blue Star Moms to the entrance gates today.

"For every soldier that receives a care package from a family member or friend, there are many more who don't," said Linda Johnson, lead organizer of the event.

"We want every one of them to feel appreciated," she added. "These packages are a small token for all they contribute, and receiving a box of treats and necessities that they can't just go out and buy, does help to brighten their day."

This will be the first large-scale drive the local Blue Star Moms organization has conducted. Volunteers will be stationed at all four entrance gates at the Fairgrounds to collect the donations.

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Today's benefit follows the Fair's annual "Feed the Need" Food Drive last week that brought in more than 11 tons of food, much of which has already been distributed to needy residents by the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

Katherine Avila, ACCFB Food Drive Coordinator and organizer of last week's event, reported a total of 22,420 pounds of food was collected, which will provide roughly 18,700 individual meals. It was the largest one-day, summer food drive in the county.

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