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NICHD Spearheads Food Drive for Second Year

By Marianne Glass Duffy

With the combination of the recession and higher unemployment rates, local food banks are appealing for help. Last year, in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks that left area food banks in short supply, NICHD staffer Mona Rowe organized a food drive for the Capital Area Food Bank. The response was so great — NICHD staff and employees from throughout NIH donated over 1 ton of food — that NICHD has decided to do it again. This year, Rowe's colleague, Susanne Strickland, is coordinating the food drive, and the theme is "From Soup to Nuts — We Need It All."

"NICHD staffers opened their hearts to the food drive last year," said Strickland, senior program analyst, Office of Science Policy, Analysis and Communications. "With the need for donations on the rise, we expect this year's response will be just as great, if not greater."

The food drive began Nov. 18 and continues through the end of December. All NIH employees are welcome to contribute.

NICHD staffers (from l) Elizabeth Wehr, Derik Mezzack and Susanne Strickland demonstrate the spirit of giving to the NICHD-sponsored food drive benefitting the Capital Area Food Bank.

To make donating even easier this year, NICHD is setting up food boxes in multiple locations, both on and off campus. Boxes will be located in Bldg. 31, A wing, on the 2nd floor and in the A wing lobby. Boxes also will be located in Bldg. 49 (5th floor) and in Bldg. 6 (4th floor). Boxes at 6100 Executive Blvd. will be located by the elevators on floors 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8.

NICHD staffers Susan Pagliaro and Chris Jennings are coordinating the drive at 6100 Executive Blvd., collecting donations and sending email reminders to other staff members in the building.

"We're encouraging people to buy a little extra when they do their grocery shopping," said Pagliaro. "If it's 'buy one, get one for half price,' consider giving one of those items to the food drive."

The Capital Area Food Bank is most in need of canned fish, fruits and vegetables, pastas and sauces, soups and cereals. They would also appreciate shampoo, soap and other hygiene products. For the complete "most wanted" list, or to get information to organize a food drive, contact the Capital Area Food Bank at (202) 526-5344 (www.capitalareafood, or call Susanne Strickland at 435-3440.

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