Commissary patrons help drive Feds Feed Families support
FORT LEE, Va. (June 23, 2016) – Last year was a banner year for the Feds Feed Families campaign. The Department of Defense collected more than 3.2 million pounds of food and personal hygiene items for donation to local food banks and pantries. Commissary employees and their patrons contributed almost 50 percent or a whopping 1.6 million pounds of DOD's total.
"Our customers are the main driver behind the donations," said Randy Eller, DeCA's deputy director of logistics. "Their contributions have increased our total 66 percent from 2014."
The Feds Feed Families campaign, which runs June through Aug. 31 this year, was created as a part of President Obama's United We Serve campaign in 2009. The program was started to help food banks stay stocked throughout the summer, when they typically see fewer donations and increased demand. Through the program, almost 57.2 million pounds of food and other items have been donated by federal employees from all across the federal government.
This year commissary employees and patrons are pulling together again to collect donations of much needed nonperishable food and personal hygiene items. Prepacked donation bags, which can be purchased in store and placed in collection bins when entering or leaving, are available. Customers may also bring items from home to donate.
Donated items are picked up by the installations and delivered to local food banks or pantries.
The most-needed items for donations include:
- Canned vegetables – low sodium, no salt
- Canned fruits – in light syrup or its own juices
- Canned proteins – tuna, salmon, chicken, peanut butter and beans
- Soups – beef stew, chili, chicken noodle, turkey or rice
- Condiments – tomato-based sauces, light soy sauce, ketchup, mustard, salad dressing or oils
- Snacks – individually packed snacks, crackers, trail mix, dried fruit, granola and cereal bars, pretzels and sandwich crackers
- Multigrain cereal
- 100 percent juice – all sizes, including juice boxes
- Grains – brown and white rice, oatmeal, bulgar, quinoa, couscous, pasta, and macaroni and cheese
- Paper products and household items – paper towels, napkins, cleaning supplies
- Hygiene items – diapers, deodorants (men and women), feminine products, toilet paper, tissues, soap, toothpaste and shampoo
There have been no official goals set but, with the help of commissary employees and generous patrons, Eller thinks last years' numbers can be beat.
"Let's all give our full support to this fantastic program which feeds thousands of hungry families across the United States, and work to have our best totals ever," he said.
For more information on the Feds Feed Families campaign, visit USDA's Feds Feed Families page.
To see a photo on DeCA's Flickr page related to this story, click on the photo or go to, go to DeCA's Flickr page
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 and make no profit on the sale of merchandise. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. By shopping regularly in the commissary, patrons save thousands of dollars annually. 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.
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773