How did USDA employees raise over 1.7 million pounds of food this summer for Feds Feed Families? The stories below provide a cross-country flavor of the many examples of generosity and creativity demonstrated at USDA field office’s food drives around the country.
On the West Coast, two field offices in California worked with producers to gather thousands of pounds of local produce for food banks. The Oroville Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Center partnered with Pacific Coast Producers to donate an astonishing 4,367 pounds of canned fruits to North State Food Bank. The Dixon Service Center partnered with Robben Farms to collect 2,513 pounds of bagged, dry canario beans for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties.
In the Mountain Plains, at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) facility in Fort Collins, Colorado, USDA employees rallied around their colleague Phil Purdy as he ran a solo 200-mile run! Usually completed by relay teams, Phil ran the Wild West Relay solo through several mountain passes from Fort Collins to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and completed the run in 68 hours. His original goal was to raise $3,500, but he ended up raising over $5,000 for the Larimer County Food Bank.
In the Midwest, employees at the St. Paul Regional Office of the Risk Management Agency (RMA) and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) came up with creative ways to participate this summer. They hosted a pig-roast luncheon, complete with porcine trivia contest, and used the proceeds to donate food to the Second Harvest Food Bank. Later in the summer, employees pooled together cash donations to purchase produce at their local farmers market. Fresh, locally grown potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, eggplants, and green beans were donated to Naomi’s Family Center, a women and children’s shelter serving downtown St. Paul.
Heading to the Southeast, the National Agriculture Statistics Service’s (NASS) Tennessee field office worked together to collect an impressive 3,058 pounds of food. Employees also toured their Second Harvest Food Bank to see how their donations would be used to provide emergency food assistance to individual and families throughout the county.
These stories are just a few snap shots from the more than 2,000 food drives run by USDA offices this summer. Thank you to USDA employees for their generosity and for going above and beyond to make the 3rd annual Feds Feed Families food drive a great success.