Feds at NASA Langley Feed Families in Hampton Roads
By: Denise Lineberry
First, think about your dinner plans for tonight. Next, think about the 50,000 people who are at risk of food insecurity and outright hunger on the Virginia Peninsula. Finally, of those 50,000 people, think about the 18,591 impoverished Foodbank clients who are under the age of 18.
NASA's Langley Research Center and the Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula are partnering for a second year to provide non-perishable food items to local individuals living below the poverty level, $22,050 a year for a family of four, through the Feds Feed Families Campaign.
The center intends to collect 10,000 pounds of non-perishable foods through the food drive, which kicked off Friday morning. Last year, 12,869 pounds of food were collected at Langley, almost tripling the center's 2010 goal of 4,725 pounds.
All of the NASA centers are participating. Of the 10 centers, Langley came in fourth place overall for 2010. Yolanda Simmons, Langley’s campaign coordinator, hopes that this year Langley will come out on top.
Nationwide, the Feds Feeds Families campaign aims to collect 2 million pounds. The program was nationally introduced three years ago in the spirit of President Obama's campaign for meaningful community service.
The first food pick-up and distribution at Langley will be June 17 and will follow every other Friday through August 31. Employees are asked to drop off any non-perishable items in the collection bins located in the cafeteria.
The Foodbank will weigh the food collected through this campaign and the bi-weekly pound totals will be reported to employees after each pick-up.
"President Obama has challenged us to give back to our communities and to help lay a new foundation for growth in this country by engaging in sustained, meaningful community service. Federal employees have rapidly responded to that call and we must continue to do so," Simmons said. "As we approach the summer, it's appropriate to recognize how fortunate we are and to help those who are struggling to put food on their tables. While we applaud our employees for opening up their hearts this past summer to deliver a record total, this is just one more stirring reminder of the generosity of NASA Langley Research Center employees."
According to the Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula, approximately 75 percent of the food is donated. The Foodbank purchases the other 25 percent.
"This food drive comes at a great time when the need is there more than ever. Food drives drop off in January, and particularly in the summer months, however, the need is still there year round. We always say that hunger knows no season, and doesn’t take a summer vacation. This food will be needed for our Summer Feeding Programs," Tighe said. When the school session ends, many children do not have access to free or reduced price meals. Good nutrition is so critical to a child’s development. The Summer Feeding programs will provide meals for kids over the summer months until school begins in the fall.
"Additionally, our other food distribution programs will benefit from the food that is donated from this event, which helps feed seniors, the working poor and now the everyday modern face struggling to make ends meet each day."
The mission of the Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula is to distribute food effectively through collaborative efforts that minimize hunger, promote nutrition and self-reliance through education.
"It's the generosity of organizations such as NASA Langley that makes our community such a wonderful place to live. Their service to our community is commendable and greatly appreciated," said Tighe. "Together, we make a difference by providing hope to those in need."
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula:
Feds Feeds Families:
The Researcher News
NASA Langley Research Center
Editor & Curator: Denise Lineberry
Managing Editor: Jim Hodges
Executive Editor & Responsible NASA Official: Rob Wyman