WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this week kicked off the 11th annual government-wide Feds Feed Families (FFF) campaign, which encourages employees from all federal departments and agencies to give in-kind contributions — food, services, and time — to food banks and pantries. This year’s campaign highlights a summer of giving in June and July, along with seasonal reminders to donate throughout the year.
“During these challenging times with coronavirus, I am amazed by the generosity of the American people and their giving nature,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “Our USDA family has the most dedicated employees in the federal government and this campaign is our chance to help feed those in need.”
The 2020 campaign focuses on online donations and virtual food drives, while also providing guidance for in-person donations and events as appropriate. Federal employees can go to the new website, the FFF Hub, to find out how and where to donate online or in-person at food banks and food pantries, how to organize virtual food drives, how to find field or warehouse gleaning opportunities, and how to share donation success stories. Since FFF in-kind donations are measured in pounds rather than dollars, the new website makes it easier than ever to record contributions.
There are many ways to participate:
- Become an FFF Champion at your department or agency to motivate your colleagues to participate.
- Donate online: Purchase food at an online grocer and have it delivered directly to a food bank or pantry. Or make a monetary donation to a food pantry or food bank. Record your donation in either pounds or dollars on the FFF Hub.
- Combined Federal Campaign (CFC): Donate money to a food pantry or food bank through the CFC special solicitation through June 30 and also during the regular CFC giving season from September through January. Record your donation on the FFF Hub.
- Attend a virtual food drive event: Join your colleagues online to learn about food insecurity in your community and how to donate pounds to participating local organizations.
- Drop off donations at your local food bank or pantry: Record your donation in pounds on the FFF Hub.
- Plant-a-row: Plant an extra row of produce in your garden and give the extra harvest to local feeding programs.
- Gleaning: Visit the FFF Hub to learn about field- and warehouse-gleaning opportunities.
The 2020 Food Drive focuses on healthy, nutritious foods. Participants may collect nonperishable foods and fresh foods (as appropriate for each food bank). Items most wanted by food pantries include high protein foods such as canned or dry beans, peanut butter, canned tuna, and salmon. Also in demand: grains (such as brown and white rice, pasta, and macaroni and cheese), hot and cold cereal, canned vegetables, canned fruit, dried fruits, 100 percent juice drinks, granola bars, and soups.
Since Feds Feed Families launched in 2009, this campaign has collected more than 92 million pounds of food for donation. In 2019 alone, federal employees donated more than 2.8 million pounds. USDA is the designated lead agency for the National Feds Feeds Families campaign for the U.S. government nationwide.
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