Federal Employees Are Donating More Than 80,000 Pounds of Food Each Day to Food Banks

Bread of Life Food Pantry volunteers stand beside a truckload of the fruits and vegetables collected in support of the Agriculture Department’s Feds Feed Families campaign in Tipton, Iowa, in July 2012. Bread of Life Food Pantry volunteers stand beside a truckload of the fruits and vegetables collected in support of the Agriculture Department’s Feds Feed Families campaign in Tipton, Iowa, in July 2012. USDA file photo

Federal employees have been giving a lot lately.

They gave up pay increases for three years, take-home pay through higher contributions to their retirement pensions and pay altogether during last summer’s sequestration furloughs and last fall’s government shutdown.

Still, every year, federal agencies ask their employees to give more.

In 2013, feds gave less to their primary giving campaign, the Combined Federal Campaign, than in any year in recent memory. Federal workers contributed a total of $209 million to CFC last year, a 19 percent drop from 2012. Not all federal giving dropped off, however.

In fiscal 2013, federal employees donated 8.9 million pounds of food to the Feds Feed Families program, a 25 percent increase from 2012, when they donated 7.1 million pounds. The program lasts just three months, which means feds were donating nearly 100,000 pounds of food each day during last year’s drive.

The 2013 haul was the largest in the history of the program, which launched in 2009. In fact, feds donated more last year than in the first three years of the program combined. Feds Feed Families is a governmentwide effort coordinated by the Agriculture Department in which federal employees collect and donate food, which is then distributed to area food banks. Each participating federal workspace maintains a designated collection bin for the non-perishable donations for the duration of the program, which began June 1.

While USDA set the goal of program activity in every state and beating last year’s record participation, donations so far in fiscal 2014 are down. In June and July, feds contributed 4.9 million pounds of food. That puts the program on pace for about 7.4 million pounds in donations, a 17 percent dip from the fiscal 2013 haul.

Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management, remained optimistic federal employees would once again break the contribution record, however, writing in a recent blog post the program is “well on [its] way to besting last year’s total.” She added she was “overwhelmed” by the generosity demonstrated by the federal workforce.

“Each and every day I see all the hard work OPM employees do to serve the American people,” she wrote. “And their willingness to help those among us with the least continues to inspire me.”

The Defense Department has been leading the way across government, eclipsing its total fiscal 2013 donations by Aug. 5, when it had collected 1.91 million pounds of food.

Each agency appoints a Feds Feed Families “champion,” who coordinates efforts with food banks, promotes the program to the agency’s workforce and tracks the total donations. Employees have just a few more days to get their donations in, as the program closes Aug. 31. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.