Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today kicked off the 6th annual Feds Feed Families Campaign at the USDA Headquarters in Washington D.C. The food drive is an annual event in which Federal employees in the Washington metropolitan area and around the country collect food for distribution by food banks, food pantries, and shelters.
"The spirit of service runs deep across the Federal government. Feds Feed Families offers another opportunity to give back to our communities and serve our neighbors in need," said Vilsack. "Since the initiative began just five years ago, Federal employees have donated more than 24 million pounds of food. I am proud to serve alongside such generous individuals and I am confident that we will step up once again this year."
Secretary Vilsack was joined for the announcement by U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, Nancy E. Roman, CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank and other officials from the Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Feds Feed Families program started in 2009 and has been managed on an annual basis by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is once again leading the effort in collaboration with managers from agencies across the government. The 2014 food drive officially began on June 2 and will run through August 27.
All Federal agencies across the country participate in the campaign and Federal employees are asked to donate non-perishable food items throughout the summer. As in prior years, donations made in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area go to food banks in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia through a partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank. Other donations go to food banks across the country – having a positive impact to help food banks address food insecurity. Secretary Vilsack noted that the latest USDA estimates show that in 2012, food insecurity affected 14.5 percent of American households at some point.
USDA has designated Karen Comfort of its Agricultural Marketing Service as the Feds Feeds Families National Program Manager. Comfort will manage the campaign with the support of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council and other agency partners. Those interested in additional information on the Feds Feed Families campaign can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions can also be directed by phone to (202) 690-0187.
The Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), founded in 1980, is a member of Feeding America and takes a comprehensive approach to addressing hunger by increasing access to nutritious food, initiating change through skill-building and creating sustainability with outreach and training for those at risk of hunger. The CAFB is the metro area's largest public, nonprofit food and nutrition education resource. For more information about hunger and nutrition issues, log on to www.CapitalAreaFoodBank.org.
For more information on the Feds Feed Families campaign, please visit: http://www.usda.gov/fedsfeedfamilies.