This summer marks the fourth year of the government-wide Feds Feed Families program. This 40-agency effort supports food banks in the national capital region and around the country with donations from federal employees.
During the first three years, Feds Feed Families collected more than 8 million pounds of food, with last year's contributions alone totaling more than 5.7 million pounds. This year, the theme is "Beat your best," and at DOT that's exactly what we hope to do.
Although many Americans give generously to food banks during the fall and winter, there is also a strong need during the summer. In particular, food banks are often asked to fill the gap left by seasonal school closings. Since many children receive free and reduced price meals at their schools, summer vacation adds to the challenges struggling families face.
Here in Washington, DC, the Capital Area Food Bank receives our federal donations and distributes them through their network of over 700 partner agencies. In DC alone, more than 70 percent of school-age children receive free or reduced price meals in their schools. In the larger national capital region, we're still talking about nearly 40 percent of local children. That's the need our federal employees are trying to meet.
And DOT is proud to be doing its part. Last year, the public servants of this Department contributed more than 54,000 pounds of food. This year, we've set our sights higher by 10 percent: 60,000 pounds.
I know we can achieve and surpass that target.
And one of the ways our volunteers try to raise awareness and participation is through the annual DOT Can Contest.