People and families in need often visit food banks and pantries to get basic provisions free of charge. Unfortunately, donations often decrease during the summer months. The nationwide campaign Feds Feed Families was created to help food banks and pantries stay stocked.
This summer’s campaign, Feds Unite Against Hunger, offers several easy ways federal employees can help ease the burden on food banks across the nation. This year’s multi-faceted approach focuses on the practice of gleaning – clearing fields of unused produce. Many farmers and growers generously open their fields to allow federal employee volunteers to glean fresh fruits and vegetables to donate to food banks, churches and other partners.
While gleaning, the early morning weather may heat up, but one soon notices the volunteers are united in purpose—and noticeably smiling—as they take stock of the crops gathering as the result of their efforts.
USDA Rural Development employee Mark Stout who grew up farming, volunteers a few hours of his time almost every week to help pick fresh produce. “I challenge all federal employees to volunteer to glean, to donate a can, and to participate in any activity that allows us to give to a food bank or pantry this summer. These organizations help people in need get a good meal or put food on the table for their family.”
This year, employees are especially encouraged to participate in gleaning activities as they consider the Feds Feed Families program. Field employees can reach out to Society of St. Andrew for gleaning opportunities in their area.