The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) is on a mission to collect food donations for families in need through the annual Feds Feed Families food drive, and it’s calling on customers, including eligible Veterans, to make it a success.

For 13 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has led federal government agencies in carrying out this annual campaign. Feds Feed Families is designed to help food pantries and food banks stay stocked by collecting food donations for them in the summer months, when they traditionally see a decrease in donations and an increase in need.

Commissary customers and employees have traditionally led the Department of Defense (DoD) in donations for the campaign for years, and now, for the third year in a row, DoD has designated DeCA to manage the drive for the Department.

DeCA Director of Logistics Randy Eller, who is spearheading this effort for DeCA, explains how important it is to DeCA and DoD to support the military community and other families who need this support. “We are proud of taking the lead for a campaign that allows us to showcase how caring and giving our people are, and demonstrates the Department’s commitment to helping people in need,” Eller said.

Feds Feed Families: By the numbers

Since Feds Feed Families launched in 2009, it has collected more than 99 million pounds of food for donation. In 2021, federal agencies collected more than 7.5 million pounds of food for donation; of that total, donations through commissaries accounted for 2.4 million of the 3.7 million pounds that DoD contributed.

A Summer of giving

According to the USDA, more than 38 million people, including 12 million children, are food insecure in the United States alone. Additionally, a recent USDA study found that Veterans are 7.4% more likely to live in a food-insecure household. Commissary customers and employees can join this campaign to fight food insecurity by:

  • Purchasing the products that food pantries and food banks need the most in commissaries or bringing them from home.
  • Purchasing prepackaged donation bag bundles offered for sale in stateside commissaries for less than $15 each.

Customers can donate these products simply by placing them in a designated donation bin at a stateside commissary through September 30 of this year.

Installation officials will work with these commissaries to deliver the donations to local facilities. (Please Contact Your Commissary locally to confirm participation in this campaign.)

Most-needed products

The following list of products that food pantries and food banks need the most is a great resource to get you started.

  • Peanut butter;
  • Canned soup, stew, fruit, vegetables and beans;
  • Pasta (preferably whole grain);
  • Snacks, such as trail mix, dried fruit, granola, cereal bars, etc.;
  • Multigrain cereals;
  • 100% juice in all sizes, including juice boxes;
  • Grains, such as brown and white rice, oatmeal, etc.;
  • Paper towels, napkins and cleaning supplies;
  • Hygiene items, like diapers, deodorants, feminine products, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste and shampoo.

We’re Stronger Together

Leading the Feds Feed Families campaign for DoD is just one of the ways that DoD and DeCA are working to combat food insecurity and show that we’re stronger together. To learn more about DeCA’s ongoing efforts, please visit We’re Stronger Together.

By Courtney Rogers serves as the Defense Commissary Agency’s consumer advocate

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Published on Jul. 14, 2022

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