BILOXI, Miss. -- Employees at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Mississippi Transitional Recovery Office donated 2,010 pounds of canned and non-perishable food items to Twelve Baskets Food Bank in Gulfport June 29.
Monday's donation marked the first of three food drives the TRO will sponsor this summer.
The effort is part of a federal government-wide food drive called "Warm Up to Giving" and challenges agencies to donate one million pounds of food by Aug. 28.
"We're very proud of the selfless giving by employees here at the Mississippi TRO," said Alec Watson, acting director of the TRO. "As a result of their generosity, more than 2,000 pounds of food was collected and donated to Twelve Baskets Food Bank in just four days."
The effort was led by FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons Laura Mason and Sara Summers, who offered to help organize and publicize the food drive.
"We're glad that everyone was so generous," Mason said. "We collected 1,600 pounds of food from the Individual Assistance section alone. We hope this can help make a difference in the good work Twelve Baskets does in south Mississippi."
Twelve Baskets Food Bank, a program of Catholic Social and Community Services, Inc. for the Diocese of Biloxi, serves as a distribution point for approximately 80 agencies throughout Harrison, Hancock, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone, Perry, George and Greene counties.
According to the Catholic Diocese's website, more than a million pounds of food was distributed to food pantries and soup kitchens in those counties from July 2007 to June 2008, serving more than 492,000 people.
The TRO food drive will continue through the summer. Donations will be collected Friday, July 31 and Friday, Aug. 28.
For more information on the government-wide initiative, visit www.fedsfeedfamilies.gov.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.