COLUMBUS, Ohio –
Defense Supply Center Columbus has once again partnered with the Mid-Ohio Food Bank to help fight hunger in the region. The 2016 Feds Feed Families food drive officially kicked of June 1, and personnel on the installation will have several options to participate in the program throughout the summer.
Now in its eighth year, the national program encourages federal employees throughout the country to collect non-perishable items for food banks and shelters within their local communities. The items collected through DSCC’s three month food drive will be donated to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank as part of their Operation Feed campaign.
Operation Feed is one of the largest community-wide food drives in the country. Last year the program provided food for over 10.5 million meals for hungry individuals in central and eastern Ohio.
The national Feds Feeds Families campaign is a voluntary effort undertaken by federal employees to bring nonperishable foods to designated donation sites.
At DSCC, there are several ways to participate. Collection boxes will be stationed throughout various work centers and a central collection point will be located at the Building 20 overflow parking lot near the corner of 17th and Pershing Ave. every Wednesday through August 31.
Associates are encouraged to bring canned items with high demand such as chili with beans, tuna, peanut butter, and soup. Items that will not be accepted include home-canned or expired items, food in glass containers, and perishable food items.
Karen Day has been a FFF volunteer captain for the Procurement Process Support Directorate at Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime for the past five years. She says each year she’s seen an overwhelming response from her colleagues.
“Along with individual donations we also try to coordinate as a team to target the specific items needed the most,” Day said. “We’ve even pooled donations and filled an entire pallet with items from a local grocery store.”
Donations are collected weekly and ongoing totals are tracked, in pounds, throughout the duration of the food drive. Prizes and contests for individuals and directorates recognize those who donate the greatest amounts or meet certain goals.
Once collected, the food is distributed to more than 400 facilities throughout 20 counties in the state. According to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, each week more than 40,000 people receive emergency food assistance from food pantries, soup kitchens, or emergency shelters in and around central Ohio.
Nearly half of the recipients of these services are children under the age of 18 or people 65 and older.
Day has seen firsthand the recipients of these services. She also volunteers at a local food pantry in the nearby community and notes that the people she’s seen are no different than anyone else.
“Many of the people who benefit from these food donations are locals who are facing difficult situations and just need a little help,” Day said. “Maybe they just lost their jobs. Maybe they had a recent disease or death in the family – Maybe they could be any one of us some day.”
The Feds Feed Families food drive runs through August 31. For more information on the Operation Feed campaign or the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, visit www.midohiofoodbank.org.