‘Feds Feed Families’ Breaks Donation Record
By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2012 The Defense Department's 2012 contribution to the “Feds Feed Families” campaign surpassed all expectations, Paige Hinkle-Bowles, deputy assistant secretary of defense for civilian personnel policy, said Oct. 12 during an interview with American Forces Press Service.
More than 2 million pounds of nonperishable food items were donated by DOD agencies during this year's campaign, she said, a record amount for the department.
Feds Feed Families is a governmentwide campaign sponsored by the Office of Personnel Management and the Chief Human Capital Officers Council. The total contribution across all agencies was more than 7 million pounds, Aimee Scanlon, the Defense Department's champion for Feds Feed Families, said.
Across government, participation in the program continues to grow, she said, noting that this year’s contributions amounted to an increase of more than 2 million pounds over last year.
"I think that we are fortunate in DOD to have an opportunity to be one of the leaders in this [program]," Scanlon added.
Nationally, more than 300 food banks received donations through Defense Department contributions to Feds Feed Families, Hinkle-Bowles said.
"In the national capital region, we partnered with the Capital Area Food Bank and served 700 food pantries in the D.C., Virginia and Maryland area," she said.
The program provides nonperishable items to families during the summer, providing a critical buffer when children might not have access to school lunch programs, she said. "That is one of the big benefits," she added.
"We're very appreciative of everyone's support, across the total force" she said. "It's a great way to show our support to the communities where we serve."
While several people contributed extraordinary amounts of food items, Hinkle-Bowles said, every little bit helps. "For everybody who helped, we really appreciate the support."
Hinkle-Bowles said that about a third of this year's collections came through donations at commissaries -- a partnership she noted helps the program reach beyond active duty service members and into the retiree population.
In addition to donations, the Defense Department provided logistical support to other government agencies to help in transporting foodstuffs, Hinkle-Bowles said.
The campaign runs annually, usually from June through August, but anyone looking for ways to support the community outside the campaign period can find resources at the Feds Feed Families website, Scanlon said.
"It's really been amazing that, even after the campaign has ended, I've gotten a lot of inquiries about staying engaged and continuing to help," she said. "It definitely has sparked and encouraged a lot of spirit of giving."