Staff from across NIEHS joined forces with others from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to raise 117,696 pounds of food donations for the 2022 Feds Feed Families (FFF) campaign. FFF is an annual charity drive that encourages federal employees to help support food banks and pantries across the country.
“As part of NIH, our mission at this institute is ultimately to help people everywhere lead healthier lives,” said NIEHS Director Rick Woychik, Ph.D. “Feds Feed Families is a fantastic way for our employees to help promote that cause right here at home in our local community. Thanks so very much to everyone who gave.”
2022 marks the 13th year of Feds Feed Families, which ran from July 27 through Sept. 30.
Meeting needs at home
According to data from the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina more than 510,000 people in the group’s 34-county service area struggle to feed their families or provide regular access to basic necessities, such as medicine and housing. As such, the food bank relies on donations from efforts like FFF to fill those needs.
“Food drives like the one hosted for Feds Feed Families are vital to our mission and for our friends and neighbors experiencing food insecurity,” said Jessica Slider Whichard, the food bank’s director of communications. “These sorts of campaigns help us ensure that we get the kinds of food families want and can really use.”
In 2021, the Bank provided more than 81 million meals to North Carolina families and individuals.
“We’re incredibly thankful for the support of campaigns like Feds Feed Families,” Whichard added. “Especially during times like these, when the cost of food has gone up so much.”
The never-ending need for kindness
Even though the 2022 campaign has officially drawn to a close, organizers note that the struggles of needy families continue year-round, so the generosity of federal employees is always needed.
“I can assure you, speaking from firsthand experience, that these donations mean everything to the families who receive them,” said Monya Brace, a program specialist at NIEHS. “Being hungry is an awful feeling that you never get over. That’s why programs like Feds Feed Families are so critical. They cut to the chase and deliver help straight to those who need it most.”
(Ian Thomas is a public affairs specialist in the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison, and a regular contributor to the Environmental Factor.)