Summer is a season of heightened hunger in America. As the school year ends and school nutrition programs end with it, many children lose an important source of food. Regular donations to local charities are also interrupted by travel and changed summer schedules. In 2009, economic troubles have made the challenges facing many families even greater.
When John Berry became the Director of OPM this spring, Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf asked him if Federal workers might be able to help food banks in the National Capital Region, and the Feds Feed Families food drive was born.
The call went out to each Federal agency through the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, and the drive was expanded to include field offices around the country. The Department of Defense and Department of Transportation took leading roles in organizing logistics for the DC region, and Federal Executive Boards across the country supported the drive in their areas. OPM launched http://www.fedsfeedfamilies.gov, a web 2.0 site with interactive content to encourage donations, answer questions, and track our progress.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Senator Daniel Akaka, and Representatives Frank Wolf and Eleanor Holmes Norton are among the senior government officials to participate in FFF events with Director Berry. Many agencies have hosted internal events to thank their employees for donating, and federal employees around the country and the world are sending their stories to FedsFeedFamilies.gov.
In the Washington, D.C. area, donated items are delivered to the Capital Area Food Bank, which then distributes them to over 700 charitable organizations throughout the region. In other parts of the country, donated items are given to local food banks and pantries.