The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the public-sector version of United Way, is an annual event for federal employees. This year SITES “keyworkers” decided to supplement our departmental fundraising by conducting a food drive—a tangible response to the economic downturn that’s decreasing food bank donations at a time of increasing need. We selected Bread for the City, a local agency that provides comprehensive services, including food, clothing, medical care, and legal and social services, to vulnerable residents of Washington, DC.
We liked its emphasis on encouraging healthy eating as one way to address the obesity, diabetes, and hypertension that affect many of its clients (as well as society at large). As Bread’s Executive Director George A. Jones says, “It’s not enough to merely help people eat; we must help them eat well.” The organization’s nutritionist offers one-on-one nutrition counseling and healthy cooking classes free to the community. And it eliminated from its food pantry all foods with trans-fats and high-sodium, high-fructose corn syrup.
Guided by the website’s list of suggested foods, SITES surpassed our target of 100 healthy food items. During our month-long drive, staff contributed boxes of unsweetened cereal and whole-wheat pasta, cans of tuna in water, bags of dry beans, jars of organic baby food, and low-fat, low-salt broths and soups. A lunchtime movie (Night at the Museum, of course), with a food donation as the price of admission, helped fill three cartons, which we donated before New Year’s Eve. As for the CFC drive itself, SITES has more than doubled our goal of $5,000—and we still have the rest of January to go!--Ann Carper, SITES editor