Agencies rev up for 2014 Feds Feed Families food drive

Monday - 5/19/2014, 2:15pm EDT

By Stephanie Wasko
Special to Federal News Radio

Over the past five years, federal agencies have collected 24 million pounds of donated food and other non-perishable items during the annual Feds Feed Families drive. June 1 will kick off the sixth annual campaign in which federal employees give their time and donated goods to aid families struggling to put food on the table.

The USDA has seen increased success each year of the program. The department will lead the campaign again with the support of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council and other partner agencies.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has high hopes for the 2014 drive.

Feds donate cans, dried goods and other non-perishable items during the 2013 Feds Feed Families campaign. (Photo courtesy of the Feds Feed Families Facebook page.)

"Last summer alone we collected 9 million pounds of food and I am confident that we will rise to the occasion and 'beat our best' this year," he said in a memo sent to agency executives.

According to the USDA, hunger currently affects 1 in 6 Americans with food banks and food pantries providing meals to millions of families every year. Over the summertime, these organizations experience an increase in demand and a decrease in donations.

Starting June 1, federal employees across the country can drop off their nonperishable food items in donation bins set up in all workplaces. Tentative collection dates are set for June 25, July 30, and August 27.

Each agency CHCO has appointed a chairperson who will oversee the food drive campaign across their particular department. To aid the chair, agencies have been asked to appoint at least one "champion" to manage collection logistics including weighing, reporting, and delivery of the donations.

The Feds Feed Families drive in 2013 exceeded the previous year's donations by 1.8 million pounds. The National Credit Union Administration won the "fired up" award by bringing in 22,068 pounds of goods during the drive.

Any questions regarding this year's event may be directed to fedsfeedfamilies@usda.gov.

Stephanie Wasko is an intern for Federal News Radio. Please direct any questions about this article to Federal News Radio Web Manager Julia Ziegler.

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