Feds Feed Families: Commissary patrons, employees donate record 2.3M pounds
FORT LEE, Va. – Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) patrons and employees once again led this year’s Department of Defense (DOD) contributions to the annual Feds Feed Families campaign by collecting nearly 2.3 million pounds of food and personal hygiene items.
The previous donations record for DeCA’s donations was 1.6 million pounds in 2015.
Through Feds Feed Families, federal employees help food banks and pantries stay stocked during summer months when the need for donations is at its greatest. Although this year’s campaign officially ran from June 1 to July 31, DOD agencies could include all of their donations collected from Jan. 1 to Aug. 14. DeCA’s participation represented almost 90 percent of DOD’s total donation of more than 2.5 million pounds.
“It was only through the generosity of our employees and customers,” said Randy Eller, DeCA’s director of logistics. “Every year they really step up and get the job done in terms of donations. This year’s campaign broke the DOD record, and we significantly contributed to that success.”
Last year, DeCA collected more than 753,000 pounds of donations, about 73 percent of the over 1 million pounds collected by DOD. This year, for the first time, the DOD delegated DeCA to be the Department’s lead for the campaign.
Patrons and employees donated in a number of ways. In the commissary, prepackaged bags filled with DeCA’s Freedom’s Choice store brand items were available for purchase. After purchasing the bag, patrons simply dropped it in a donation box or left it with the cashier.
“The commissaries sold a little over 27,000 bags and this is absolutely fantastic,” added Eller.
Commissaries also accepted unopened, sealed donations brought from home, or patrons and employees could purchase individual items in the store. Once the donations were collected, the commissary and their installation worked together to get them to a local foodbank or pantry.
The commissaries’ commitment doesn’t stop there.
Throughout the year, commissaries donate edible but unsellable products to local food banks and pantries around the country through DeCA’s food donation program.
Since Feds Feed Families began in 2009, federal employees have collected over 92 million pounds of food. For more information on this campaign, go to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Feds Feed Families webpage.
PHOTO CAPTION: In the commissary, prepackaged bags filled with DeCA’s Freedom’s Choice store brand items were available for purchase. After purchasing the bag, patrons simply dropped it in a donation box or left it with the cashier. (DeCA photo: Kevin Robinson)
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.