Feeding the masses

High school seniors are hungry people.

High school seniors marching hours on hours in the Texas heat are even hungrier. Thanks to a generous partnership with Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps, these students, as well as the staff of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, are fed all throughout Bowl Week.

Crossmen is based out of San Antonio and recognizes the mutual benefits that sharing resources allows both organizations. Joel Moody, Assistant Corps Director for Crossmen, explained, “In many ways, the USAAAMB works like a drum corps, just on a slightly more abbreviated performance schedule–so this is something we at Crossmen are very used to from a food services management perspective.”

Instead of dealing with catering services or transporting the band away from the rehearsal space for each meal, the USAAAMB can rely on Crossmen to set up their mobile kitchen in the parking lot to serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and occasional snacks. The food is purchased in advance, and Crossmen staff work nonstop all day to prepare the meals. Moody commented, “While we are cleaning up from one meal, the next meal is already being prepared!”

He also described what the meals usually involve:

“A typical meal that we prepare for the USAAAMB can consist of a variety of different meal options. We try to provide variety while also understanding that certain foods are more beneficial to the students that are working very hard and burning off calories at a very high rate. For breakfast we typically serve eggs, oatmeal, and some type of breakfast meat (sausage or bacon). In addition there is always “cold meal” options available such as cereal and fruit. Lunch usually consists of deli wraps, salad, and soup. Dinner generally has some kind of pasta dish along with all of the sides.”

Crossmen also accommodates individuals with food allergies and special dietary requests because they are genuinely concerned for the wellbeing of each performer.

Moody said he and his volunteer staff truly enjoy observing the growth of the group over the course of the short week. When interacting with students in the food line, Moody is always impressed by their manners and politeness. “They always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ and you can tell they are enjoying the experience they are provided each and every day. These students are obviously the ‘best of the best,’ and it shows outside of just their performance skills.”

Many of these “best of the best” students go on to march with drum corps, and several alumni have performed with Crossmen. This annual partnership is undeniably a wonderful asset to both organizations, which the full bellies of the marchers truly appreciate.


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