By: Denise Everhart, Region X
It was an overcast day in Bothell, Washington, but FEMA Region X employees didn’t let that keep them from going outside and enjoying a barbeque …and take the chance to give back. The purpose of the barbeque was to collect food for Feds Feeding Families.
FEMA employees are probably more familiar with the role of food banks than most federal employees. Local food banks provide regular assistance to those most in need, but also are asked to provide immediate relief when communities are impacted by disasters.
Food banks around the country are facing severe shortages of non-perishable items. Federal employees nationwide are stepping up to meet this challenge by gathering food for families in need this summer with a program called the Feds Feed Families Food Drive. This drive encourages federal employees to participate in agency-wide food drives.
The Region X administration took up the challenge to collect food and encouraged all employees to collect and donate food and non-perishable items for food banks in their community. After two months, regional employees had only gathered 164 pounds of food.
Knowing that the staff needed some motivation, Region X branch chiefs decided to hold their first annual Branch Chiefs Barbeque Lunch. Each branch chief donated money and a side dish to the steak and veggie burger barbeque.
Admission to the lunch was suggested at a two pound food donation.
On Aug. 23, the branch chiefs started cooking lunch outside at the Federal Response Center. Over 100 people came to the barbeque, bringing canned food as a payment. So many people responded that the chiefs had to run out and buy more hamburgers.
The barbeque brought in 750 pounds of food in the course of one afternoon bringing the Region’s total to 914 pounds.
The Feds Feed Families Food Drive in FEMA's Region X resulted in 914 pounds of food being delivered to a food distribution center. Kelli Accetturo/FEMA Region X