USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack Tuesday kicked off the 5th annual Feds Feed Families Campaign at the Capital Area Food Bank, Washington, D.C.
The food drive is an annual event since 2009 in which employees from all federal agencies collect food for distribution by food banks and shelters. In the past four years, employees have donated 15 million pounds of food through the Feds Feed Families campaign.
The 2013 food drive officially began on June 1 and will run through August 28. Donations around Washington, D.C., go to area food banks, while donations from other areas are shipped to locations most in need.
The Feds Feed Families program has been previously managed by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will lead the effort in collaboration with managers from agencies across the government.
"Federal employees are tremendously dedicated to their communities, so it's no surprise to me that the Feds Feed Families food drive has been so successful over the past four years," said Vilsack. "I'm confident that this year, employees here in Washington and in offices across the country will step up once again to help those in need."
Secretary Vilsack noted that the latest USDA estimates show that in 2011, food insecurity impacted 14.9% of American households at some point.
"No matter where you live, there are folks in your community who are working hard, but having trouble putting food on their plate," said Secretary Vilsack. "This is a very real problem that Federal employees in small towns and big cities across the country are ready to help address."
Secretary Vilsack was joined for the kick-off by Agriculture Under Secretary Ed Avalos, Agricultural Marketing Service Administrator Anne Alonzo, U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton and Nancy E. Roman, CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank.
Those interested in additional information on the Feds Feed Families campaign can email firstname.lastname@example.org.