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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Contact: Michael Orenstein
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director, Agriculture and Transportation Officials Shine Spotlight on DC Central Kitchen

During remote broadcast on Federal News Radio, officials praise Federal employees for their generosity in Feds Feed Families food drive

Washington, D.C.  -- Today, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry visited DC Central Kitchen to shine a spotlight on one of the recipients of the Feds Feed Families food drive. Federal employees have donated more than 83 tons of food in a three-month campaign that began in June.

Coinciding with a live, remote broadcast of "Your Turn with Mike Causey" on Federal News Radio (1500 AM), Berry talked about the generosity of federal employees.

OPM launched the Feds Feed Families campaign, in partnership with the Federal Chief Human Capital Officers Council, as part of the United We Serve summer of service announced by First Lady Michelle Obama. The initiative encourages all Americans to take part in volunteer service projects which benefit their communities and builds toward its finish on the September 11th National Day of Service.

"The work everyone here does day in and day out is essential for our community," Berry told Mariann Peele, Director of Agency Relations with the Capital Area Food Bank. Within the chain of food service organizations, the CAFB supplies canned and other unprepared foods to DC Central Kitchen and food service organizations throughout the Washington area. "Federal employees are the biggest-hearted people I know," Berry told Causey. "This food drive is just a small example of their generosity."

Berry also witnessed employees of Fresh Start Catering in action, some of whom are graduates of DC Central Kitchen. The catering company is a subsidiary of DC Central Kitchen, providing job opportunities and generating revenue for the parent company.

Also participating in today's event and radio broadcast was Julie Paradis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Administrator for the Food and Nutrition Service. "Feds Feeds Families is an excellent example of the partnerships needed to meet the President's commitment to end childhood hunger by 2015.  USDA's 15 nutrition assistance programs, SNAP, school meals, WIC and commodity touch the lives of one out of every five in America each year."

"I'm impressed with the number of volunteers here," said Linda Washington, Department of Transportation's Assistant Secretary for Administration, and a driving force behind Feds Feed Families. "We know federal employees are active volunteers, and the attitude of volunteers here, federal and otherwise, is that they know the value of what they are doing, and they enjoy it."

"We're a support agency, in that we prepare the food and prepare people for jobs in the community so they don't become homeless or to help them escape the cycle of homelessness," said Mike Curtin Jr., CEO of DC Central Kitchen.

"President Obama has challenged us to give back to our communities this summer and to help lay a new foundation for growth in this country by engaging in sustained, meaningful community service. Federal employees have rapidly responded to that call," Berry said when he launched the drive.

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Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.


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