Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) joined the annual Feds Feed Families donation campaign, August 1, and will collect food and monetary donations throughout the month.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture spearheads the drive each summer with support from the Department of Defense (DOD), Chief Human Capital Officers Council (CHOC) and other federal agencies.
Lt. Thea Lopez, Department of the Navy Feds Feed Families operations officer, said many food banks see large amounts of donations come in over the winter holiday season, but those donations trail off as winter ends.
“By the time summer comes, the shelves are bare, and that need still exists,” she said. “Hunger goes year-round.”
Last year, DOD efforts raised roughly 1.8 million pounds of food. Within the National Capital Region, donations benefit the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), which serves as a hub for Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area.
According to the CAFB, around 700,000 people in the metro area are at risk of hunger, including 150,000 children. Many of those children rely on school lunches for a meal, and summer vacation may mean going without regular meals at home.
Throughout the rest of the month, personnel at JBAB may deposit non-perishable food items in collection boxes located in buildings all across the base (See list on Page 7). Volunteers will make rounds daily to check boxes and collect and log donations, said Joseph P. Cirone, JBAB public affairs officer, whose office is coordinating efforts on the base in cooperation with the Religious Affairs Office.
“For those that are commissary-eligible patrons, they can easily donate to the Feds Feed Families effort by going to the commissary where there are pre-packaged Feds Feed Families bags, which are 10 pounds of food for $10,” Cirone added.
Patrons can make the purchases at the register and drop the bags directly in the collection area right in the store.
Coinciding with this year’s food drive is also a campaign to collect supplies for kids heading back to school in the coming weeks.
“This year we have added another dimension to our efforts, and that is the school supply and backpack drive that is being championed by the JBAB home educators,” Cirone said. “The backpack and school supply effort is to assist needy students at Leckie Elementary School in Ward 8, which JBAB has an ongoing and long-established relationship with.”
Cirone added more than 100 military-dependent children from JBAB attend Leckie Elementary.
For personnel wishing to make monetary donations to the Feds Feed Families campaign, money must be donated through the Religious Offerings Fund at the local chapel, with each dollar equivalent to five pounds of food.
For more information on the JBAB Feds Feed Families and school supply and backpack donations, please contact Cirone at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 404-7206.