‘Feds Feed Families’ Program Exceeds Goal|
During the 3-month Feds Feed Families campaign, which ended Oct. 2, NIH staff donated 26,315 pounds of nonperishable food. This exceeded the goal of 20,000 pounds by more than 30 percent.
This is the 5th year NIH has participated in Feds Feed Families, the government-wide food drive designed to provide food to local communities during the summer months. Each year, under Office of Research Services leadership, the program has increased its donation collection to benefit local people in need.
The program has become an NIH community operation. This year, each IC named a representative. In addition, NHGRI, OHR, NIDA and the Clinical Center co-sponsored the campaign, with each group hosting “Fill the Truck” events and helping to promote the program NIH-wide.
NIH outposts outside of Maryland enthusiastically took part in the campaign, as well. NIDDK in Arizona participated for the first time this year. NIEHS in North Carolina, led by Monya Brace, donated 3,830 pounds, and Rocky Mountain Labs (RML) in Montana collected more than it ever has—1,700 pounds. RML coordinator Katrina Matten even used a bicycle to collect items on campus and biked them to the food bank.
Friendly competition was also the name of the game this year. NHGRI in Bldg. 31 challenged staff to “Fill the Director’s Conference Room” and stuffed three donation boxes in a just a few weeks. NIAMS staff at 6701 Democracy collected more than 2,000 items by organizing a competition between floors.
OALM staff provided the means of collecting all donations on the Bethesda campus and other leased facilities in Maryland. Woodrow “Spike” Harrison and Terrance Coates collected all items in those locations, which totaled over 10,000 pounds. NIMH loaned space to store all donations before they were wrapped and weighed by ORF staff in the Clinical Center.
Several new features were introduced this year. The program web site was updated to function as a one-stop shop listing events and box locations. In addition, ORS and Eurest Dining Services worked together to develop the “NIH Fighting Hunger Voucher Program” at select cafeterias. Patrons of the cafeterias were generous and donated a total of $3,528 toward the purchase of 5,000 pounds of food.
“This has been a spectacular year for NIH’s participation in the Feds Feed Families Program,” said Tim Tosten, associate director for program and employee services, ORS, whose office led the effort. “I could not have asked for better camaraderie and partnerships across the NIH. We were able to help hundreds of families through our generous donations, many of whom will be staying at the Safra Family Lodge and the Children’s Inn at NIH. Thanks again to all who participated and we look forward to continued success in 2016.”—Corey Welcher