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The USDA and Department of Energy Team Up to Fight Hunger

By Stacy Porto, Special Assistant

Federal employees from across the country are coming together to do what the USDA does every day – increase food security and reduce hunger by providing low-income people access to food.

Inspired by President Obama’s United We Serve Act, the Feds, Farmers, and Friends Feed Families food drive began as a response to serve in your own community. USDA is leading the effort and Secretary Vilsack reminded us that while the needs of those who are hungry are great, “our opportunity to make a difference in their lives is also great.”   No one should go hungry, and no one should be without access to healthy, nutritious foods.

Yesterday, the Department of Energy (DOE) coordinated an event with help from the USDA at L’Enfant Plaza. Along with Secretary Steven Chu and Director John Berry (OPM), USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon, gave remarks in front of federal employees as well as representatives of the Capital Area Food Bank.

Under Secretary Concannon stated that while USDA nutrition assistance programs help fight hunger, they cannot reach everyone in need, especially during the summer.  He highlighted USDA local efforts, such as the partnership between the Agricultural Research Service and Choctaw Nation in Lane, Oklahoma. Together, they gleaned 2100 pounds of produce from the Oklahoma’s People Garden in just one month.  Heading east, in Pennsylvania, Rural Development field offices collected over 300 pounds of non-perishable food in just two weeks.

The event also included live music and a discounted lunch for any federal employee who donated food.  USDA continues to accept fresh produce as well as non-perishable donations.  To date, USDA employees nationwide have donated 34,000 pounds of food to this year’s drive and are currently in 2nd place in the federal government.

Only one month remains to help combat hunger and feed our nation’s hungry.  USDA employees, friends, and farmers can donate non-perishables at the USDA Headquarters in labeled boxes anytime, and can donate fresh produce at the People’s Garden tent on Tuesdays and Fridays.  USDA state and local offices are encouraged to coordinate their own food drive.  Please contact collaborate@usda.gov more information.

Inspired by President Obama’s United We Serve Act, the Feds, Farmers, and Friends Feed Families food drive began as a response to serve in your own community.
Inspired by President Obama’s United We Serve Act, the Feds, Farmers, and Friends Feed Families food drive began as a response to serve in your own community.

USDA employees, friends, and farmers can donate non-perishables at the USDA Headquarters in labeled boxes anytime, and can donate fresh produce at the People’s Garden tent on Tuesdays and Fridays.
USDA employees, friends, and farmers can donate non-perishables at the USDA Headquarters in labeled boxes anytime, and can donate fresh produce at the People’s Garden tent on Tuesdays and Fridays.

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