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Washington, DC - Today, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director John Berry, Members of Congress, and Agency leads gathered at the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) to kick off the second annual Feds Feed Families (FFF) food drive. Berry also announced new partnerships with the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Energy (DOE) and Feeding America.
"No American family should go hungry," said Berry. "Federal workers have big hearts, and that's why they're stepping up across our land to help their neighbors in need. We aim to collect 1.2 million pounds of food nationwide this summer."
Berry was joined by Regional Members of Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Donna Edwards (D-MD) and Frank Wolf (R-VA) as well as agency leaders General Service Administration Deputy Administrator Susan Brita, USDA Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon, DOE Undersecretary National Nuclear Security Administration Thomas D'Agostino and Feeding America's Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy George Braley.
After brief remarks to an audience of seniors, families, Chief Human Capital Officers, and agency FFF coordinators, the principles packed and distributed bags of food for the CAFB's Brown Bag Program, which provides over 2,000 senior citizens with monthly supplemental bags of food.
"This is not the usual food drive. Candidly, people are desperate for food and other necessities because of the deep recession," said Norton. "The donations of federal employees who have jobs will be much appreciated."
"Over the last three years, I have been meeting with food banks across northern Virginia and have found that they are struggling to keep up with demand. On average, client visits are up more than 30 percent over the past year. In fact, some families who used to donate food are now turning to our food banks for assistance," said Wolf. "I am proud of our Federal workforce and how they are helping families in northern Virginia and across the country."
"At the Department of Energy, we believe serving your country begins with serving our communities. We understand that we have a responsibility to stand up for families that need help this summer and make sure they don't go hungry. Feds Feed Families is designed to meet that need, which is why I am proud and honored to lead the Department of Energy's Campaign," said D'Agostino.
Food banks across the National Capital Region are reporting record numbers of families, children, individuals and first-time visitors seeking food assistance; and the CAFB has seen a 25 percent increase in demand over 2006. This food drive comes at a critical time when donations are tapering off around the country, and will help nourish those struggling with hunger in our community.
"Hunger is a national problem that requires a national solution. Feds Feed Families is one such solution as it mobilizes Federal workers from across the country to contribute to their local food banks and help their communities," said Brita.
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.