U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the kickoff of the 13th annual Feds Feed Families program, a voluntary food drive which encourages employees from all federal agencies to give in-kind contributions – food, services, and time – to food banks and pantries of their choice.
USDA is honored to lead the campaign for all federal employees. This year’s theme is Fighting Hunger – Giving Hope.
The launch event for this year was held at the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C. With the help of donors, volunteers, and partner organizations, the food bank distributes more than 45 million meals annually. That is an average of 88,000 meals a day.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Kim Peyser was on hand to shepherd in the 2022 campaign which focuses on summer giving from June 27 through Sept. 30, as well as encourages federal employees to give year-round. So far in 2022, more than 1.5 million pounds of food has been donated through the campaign.
Peyser said more than 38 million Americans, including 12 million children, experience food insecurity, thanking federal employees for participating in this important program.
Capital Area Food Bank President and CEO Radha Muthiah shared the impact of COVID-19 on food assistance programs, noting that donations are down. She said during these challenging times Feds Feed Families is more important than ever before to meet the rising demand of food needed to “unlock human potential.”
“One box feeds a family of four for up to three days. On a good day we pack 500 boxes a day. On a great day 2,500 boxes,” said food bank volunteer Maureen O’Donnell, stressing the importance of volunteering at food networks, as volunteer numbers are down.
Rebecca Williams, a food bank client whose family fell upon hard times, said “Everyone deserves access to food regardless of economic status, racial background or current situation.”