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Agriculture Today

Feds Feed Families summer food drive

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July 13, 2011 | 3,011 views | Post a comment

The Natural Resources Conservation Service is participating in the third annual U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Feds Feed Families Food Drive that continues until Wednesday, Aug. 31. According to a June 21 USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service press release, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced this annual event, designed to help food banks across the nation that are struggling through tough economic times. Each Natural Resource Conservation Service office across the state of Texas will be collecting nonperishable and nutritious food to help feed families in local communities.

“Even with the support and assistance USDA offers tens of millions of Americans every day, for nearly one in six Americans, hunger is a reality,” Vilsack said. “And while many children and families are looking forward to summer break, we know all too well that hunger does not take a vacation. When the final school bell rings for the summer, our nation’s children who receive free and reduced price meals through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs are at a higher risk of going hungry.”

The USDA’s Summer Food Service Program helps fill that gap, but it can’t reach everyone who is hungry. Millions of Americans across the country turn to food banks and food pantries for emergency food assistance over the summer, and these organizations typically see increased demand coupled with a decrease in donations.

Last year, the federal work force far exceeded the Feds Feed Families campaign goal of 1.2 million pounds of food with donations of 1.7 million pounds to food banks and pantries across the nation.

“I am very proud that USDA led the pack, donating roughly 465,000 pounds of perishable and non-perishable food, including over 90,000 pounds of fresh produce grown at People’s Gardens across the country,” Vilsack said.

The USDA’s goal this year has been set at nearly 500,000 pounds, including 100,000 pounds of fresh produce from the People’s Gardens initiative. Vilsack said he is confident the USDA will meet this goal.

Help make a difference by contributing your non-perishable food items to your local Natural Resource Conservation office prior to Aug. 31. If interested in donating or volunteering in this effort, contact the local Natural Resource Conservation Service office located on U.S. 181 in Floresville today.

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