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.
“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.