Soldiers in the war on hunger

Commissaries support Feds Feed Families

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FORT LEE, Va. (June 15, 2017) – It takes an army to win a war. That's the mindset of the Defense Commissary Agency's employees and patrons as they enlist to fight against hunger.

Since 2010, federal agencies have supported the annual Feds Feed Families campaign as a way to help food banks and pantries around the country stay stocked during the summer months – when the need increases and the donations decrease. From June 1 through Aug. 31, DeCA employees and patrons at over 150 commissary collection points are taking part by donating nonperishable items and personal hygiene products.

"This serves the communities around the commissaries," said Randy Eller, DeCA's Feds Feed Families manager. "Our patrons and employees show by their participation how much they value their communities. These donations are just one of the ways they help."

Last year, DeCA donated 1.1 million pounds of needed items. The agency's total was 33 percent of DOD's entire donation.

In 2016, the nationwide campaign collected over 12.5 million pounds for local food banks and pantries. As of last year the food drive has taken in 69.8 million pounds.

Some commissaries will have prepackaged donation bags available for purchase with donation drop-off locations set up throughout the store. Customers can either purchase a prepackaged bag, select items while shopping or bring items from home as donations.

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

"The agency is looking forward to another successful campaign for this year," said Eller. "Over 150 commissaries are participating by offering our customers, employees and industry partners a chance to donate to this worthy cause."

To learn more about the Feds Feed Families campaign, visit the USDA's Feds Feed Families page.

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