Are you wondering what furloughed federal employees are doing – home taking care of the little ones, planning an extended trip to the beach, doing some long overdue chores around the house. That may be what some are doing, but many are showing up at the Capital Area Food Bank to volunteer — packing weekend bags and sorting donated food. A group was welcomed last Friday by Christel Hair, the food bank’s head of community engagement, who said, “I’m grateful that they are thinking of others. It means a lot.”
Hailing from a number of federal agencies, the white House and the University of the District of Columbia, about four dozen non-essential employees made good use of their time away from their offices. One of them who came with a group of friends last week said. “People in the federal government care about service. That’s why we’re here.”
The CAFB has two food distribution centers in the region – 4900 Puerto Ave., NE Washington, DC and the Northern Virginia Branch at 6833 Hill Park Drive Lorton, VA. Volunteers who are 12 and older are accepted, however, those under 14 years of age must be accompanied by a parent. All other volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Included among the volunteers are government employees who participated in Feds Feed Families, the recently concluded three-month government food drive run by USDA that encourages federal employees to participate in an annual national food drive. The agencies compete with each other for the largest donations and everything that’s collected goes to local food banks. This year, the Capital Area Food Bank received a donation of 600,000 pounds of food.
Volunteer shifts are available from 9 am to noon, 12:30 to 4 pm and a weekly night shift every Wednesday from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.
If you are a government employee and have some extra time, think about volunteering at the Capital Area Food Bank. Please click here to learn more and sign up. You are always welcome, even after the shutdown.
Press release: CAFB Calls on Furloughed Workers to Volunteer