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Coastal and Marine Geology Program Contributes to “Feds Feed Families” Campaign



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Throughout the United States, millions of families are living below the poverty line. Basic needs such as nutritious food, sanitary supplies, and medicine are difficult to obtain for many, and as of November 2012, nearly 20 percent of American children were reported to be living in poverty (see this CBS news report about Census Bureau figures.) In response to the alarming statistics relating to poverty and poor nutrition in the United Sates, a government-wide effort was launched in 2009 to help combat hunger. This initiative, called Feds Feed Families, runs each summer and challenges Federal employees to collect nonperishable and nutritious food, which is then donated to community service centers for distribution to local families in need.

The 2013 Feds Feed Families campaign ran from June 1 to August 28. For the second year running, the three science centers in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program competed to see which center could donate the most food (read about last year’s effort). By the end of the drive, the cumulative total was 1,000 pounds, collected by staff, contractors, and volunteers at the three centers working on their own time. Third place went to the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California; second place to the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center in St. Petersburg, Florida; and first place to the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center staff display food items donated to the Feds Feed Families campaign.
Above: USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center staff display food items donated to the Feds Feed Families campaign. [larger version]

This year’s winner, the center in Woods Hole, has participated in the Feds Feed Families initiative since 2010, providing more than 1,000 pounds of food to the Falmouth Service Center, the local food pantry whose mission is to ease stress, reduce hunger, and improve quality of life for neighbors in need. Here’s the approach the Woods Hole food-drive team used to encourage contributions in 2013:

To keep center staff motivated and interested during the three-month collection period, the Woods Hole team—Andrea Toran, Kelleen List, and Linda McCarthy—brainstormed ideas to make the food drive productive and fun. They set a goal of 500 pounds, or about 5 pounds per person, and developed ideas for marketing the campaign, including colorful flyers with tag lines of “Donate Heavy and Healthy” and “Give Away 5 Pounds to the Feds Feed Families.” Donations trickled in, but trickles are not enough to have an effective impact. After some thought, the team created theme weeks, during which people were encouraged to shop for and donate specific food items. Canned-fruit-and-juice week was a hit, as was protein week, but canned-ham week was the most successful by far. Although the Woods Hole team didn’t meet the goal of collecting 500 pounds of food, the center did donate 373 pounds of food to the Falmouth Service Center, including 10 canned hams!

Personnel at the three Coastal and Marine Geology Program science centers are committed to building strong and healthy relationships with community agencies that provide a helping hand in times of need.

For more information on the Feds Feed Families initiative, please visit the campaign’s official website. To learn how to help feed families in need in your area, please contact your local service center.


Related Sound Waves Stories
Coastal and Marine Geology Program Goes for the Gold, Participates in Federal Food Drive
Sept. / Oct. 2012

Related Websites
Census: U.S. Poverty Rate Spikes, Nearly 50 Million Americans Affected
CBS News
Feds Feed Families
USDA

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Fieldwork
cover story:
Exploring Undersea Terrain Off the Northern U.S. Atlantic Coast

Autonomous Kayak Performs Shallow-Water Surveys

Natural Versus Human Impacts on Marine Ecosystems in Hood Canal

Research Research to Support Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Gets Boost from Supplemental Funds

Unprecedented Rate and Scale of Ocean Acidification in Arctic

Special Issue of Marine Geology Focuses on San Francisco Bay Coastal System

Outreach
"Native Youth in Science—Preserving Our Homelands" Completes Year Two

Awards
Michael E. Field Honored by U.S. Coral Reef Task Force

Staff
Barbara Lidz Steps Down as Sound Waves Contributing Editor

Award-Winning Student Intern Experiences Life at the USGS

Coastal and Marine Geology Program Contributes to "Feds Feed Families"

Publications Nov. / Dec. Publications

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