FSA programs explained: Feds Feed Families
July 1, 2011
I hadn’t given much thought to the e-mail that I received discussing the Feds Feed Families program. This was another message amongst a great many other messages that had equal or greater importance. I did remember that this wasn’t the first time I had seen this program announcement and the name seemed important enough. Therefore, I asked the generous men and women that work here at the USDA Service Center in Sturgis if they wanted to participate in the program. I was pleased that everyone seemed fully supportive. Therefore, we collected about 140 pounds of food donations that we donated to the Kiwanis Food Pantry in Sturgis. The folks at the food pantry were very appreciative of our donation.
I came back to the office with one question on my mind, “How can we do more?” I figured that I should start by learning more about what the Feds Feed Families program is all about. The program is led by the Office of Personnel Management and Budget and is a government-wide food drive. It started in 2009 as part President Obama’s United We Serve campaign and was designed to help food banks and pantries stay stocked during summer months, a time when they traditionally encounter decreases in donations and increases in the need for assistance. In 2010, the program collected over 1.7 million pounds of food. USDA employees collected 432,000 pounds toward that amount. The 2011 Feds Feed Families campaign runs from June 1 through Aug. 31 and the USDA goal is to collect 500,000 pounds of food for local food banks. The goal for South Dakota is 11,000 pounds of goods donated to local food pantries.
This program is a great way for USDA employees to give back to our community. The USDA is the people’s agency and the Farm Service Agency has always been community-based in the rural communities we live. We are your neighbors and we are your friends. Help us to give back to our community. The USDA Service Center in Sturgis is accepting donations of nonperishable food items that will be donated to the Sturgis Food Pantry. If you do not live in Meade County, SD, the Feds Feed Families is a nationwide program. Contact your local USDA Service Center and ask if they are participating and whether they are accepting donation.
Finally, as a reminder, if you still have not completed your 2011 acreage report, the deadline to complete your report is July 15 in South Dakota. If you do not reside in South Dakota, you should contact your local Farm Service Agency Service Center and inquire about the acreage reporting deadline.
james neill is the county executive director for the farm service agency in meade county, sd. questions about feds feed families or any other farm service agency program should be directed to your local farm service agency service center.