Commissaries serve as collection sites for donations through July 31

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Feds Feed Families campaign for 2020 has started for federal workers, and stateside Defense Commissary Agency customers and employees who want to donate to food banks and pantries.

This year’s program runs June 1 to July 31 and for the first time, the Department of Defense has delegated the campaign lead to DeCA, said Randy Eller, the agency’s director of logistics.

“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.

For the past 11 years, commissary customers and employees have traditionally set the pace for the Department of Defense donations. In 2019, DeCA collected more than 753,000 pounds of donations, about 73 percent of the over 1 million pounds collected by DOD. The Naval Base San Diego Commissary led all DeCA stores in donating over 86,000 pounds.

ExploreBlue Streak: Heavy rains cool area for first bike ride of 2020 season

Participating installations help collect items most needed by food pantries and then donate them to area food banks. Commissary customers and employees have a couple options to participate:

• by purchasing needed food and personal hygiene products for donation while shopping at stateside commissaries, or bringing items from home and dropping them off at donation bins at the store;

• by purchasing prepackaged donation bags available in stateside commissaries for less than $10. The bags include Freedom’s Choice products such as canned meat, pasta meals, popcorn and water.

Once collected, installation officials work with the commissary to deliver donations to local food banks.

Some of the most-needed items include:

• Canned vegetables – low sodium, or no salt

• Canned fruits – in light syrup or their own juices

• Canned proteins – tuna, salmon, chicken, peanut butter and beans

• Soups – beef stew, chili, chicken, turkey or rice

• Condiments – tomato-based sauces, light soy sauce, ketchup, mustard, salad dressing or oils

• Snacks – individually packed snacks, trail mix, dried fruit, granola and cereal bars

• Multigrain cereals

• 100% juice – all sizes, including juice boxes

• Grains – brown and white rice, oatmeal, bulgar, quinoa, couscous, pasta, and macaroni and cheese

• Paper products and household items – paper towels, napkins and cleaning supplies

• Hygiene items – diapers, deodorants, feminine products, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste and shampoo

For more information on this campaign, go to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website:

About the Author