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.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

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

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


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