As the Feds Feed Families campaign enters its ninth week, Department of the Navy (DON) organizers are seeing steady donations of food and monetary support, both in Naval District Washington (NDW) and around the world.
The food drive, led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with support from the Chief Human Capital Officers Council and other federal partners, collected nearly nine million pounds of food last year for distribution at local food banks and shelters.
Just last week a 184-pound load of food was taken from Washington Navy Yard to the Capital Area Food Bank, said Chaplain (Cmdr.) Phil King, supervisory chaplain for Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC), who oversees donations.
“It is certainly exciting to see the tremendous work of so many Sailors, Marines, civilians and family members who have made noble work out of the food drive,” King said.
In the 2013 drive, NDW donated more than 85,000 pounds of the roughly one million pounds collected by Sailors, DON employees and family members around the world.
At the halfway point of this year’s campaign in week six, King said NDW has amassed about 35,200 pounds of about 400,000 pounds from DON. According to the Feds Feed Families website, the overall federal campaign currently stands at 525,000 pounds donated.
Personnel wishing to donate can place non-perishable food items in the Feds Feed Families-labeled boxes in buildings located around their respective installations, or make monetary donations to their local Chapel Religious Offerings Fund.
“When money is donated, the contributions go to a Chapel ROF where it is then given directly to a local food pantry or food bank,” said King. “For Feds Feed Families, $1.00 is calculated to buy approximately five pounds of food.”
Rama Latin, DON charitable campaigns administrator, said the Navy has not set a hard number on a weight goal for the three-month summer donation schedule as to not make a competition with other service and agencies, but said the Navy is doing well at this point compared to last year.
“We’re just going to continue to collect and continue to hope and pray that people find it in their hearts to give,” said Latin, who praised the work of the CNIC chaplain’s office for their efforts in organizing and tracking the donations.
A major goal of the campaign is to restock shelves of local food banks, which typically see a drop in donations during the summer—a time when seniors on fixed incomes or children not in school are in need of meals.
NDW donations to the Capital Area Food Bank help feed nearly 700,000 people at risk of hunger in the metro area, including around 150,000 children, according to the food bank’s estimations.
With one month left in the drive, King said there might be a late surge in donations in NDW, as there was last year when a bulk of the food poured in during the final weeks.
For more information about Feds Feed Families, visit www.fedsfeedfamilies.gov, or contact Chaplain Phil King at (202) 433-4057. For more news and information from around NDW, visit www.facebook.com/NavDistWash.