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The Office of Personnel Management on Tuesday highlighted ways federal employees can contribute to the White House’s fight against hunger and to improve Americans’ health and nutrition, including through an event later this month.
The Biden administration is hosting the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health on Sept. 28, at which officials will unveil a national strategy to end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030, including plans to improve access and affordability of healthy food, increase the role of nutrition in health care and support greater physical activity.
In a memo to agency heads Tuesday, OPM Director Kiran Ahuja outlined ways that federal workers can contribute to the effort, both by raising awareness and volunteering in more tangible ways. The Agriculture Department leads a governmentwide effort to donate food to hungry families called Feds Feed Families.
“Over the years, we have witnessed the remarkable generosity of our federal workforce in collecting millions of pounds of food and non-perishable items through the Feds Feed Families campaign,” Ahuja wrote. “In Washington, D.C., the Capital Area Food Bank receives collections and distributes them through their network of over 700 partner agencies. Outside of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, agencies support their communities by either coordinating through their Federal Executive Board, or by reaching out to their local area food banks.”
Additionally, OPM, in conjunction with the Agriculture Department, will promote a weeklong effort to raise awareness of issues surrounding hunger and chronic dietary conditions like obesity, diabetes and heart disease, called FedsWISH—Feds Walk In Support of Health and Hunger (Relief). Between Sept. 26 and 30, OPM is encouraging agencies and federal employees to participate in a 30-minute walk from their work station, whether they be at federal offices or telework or remote work locations, and document the endeavor on social media with the hashtag FedsWISH.
“Through a walk activity, FedsWISH champions nationwide efforts to address health challenges and end hunger in communities across the country,” Ahuja wrote. “Agency heads are encouraged to fully support their Feds Feeds Families [food bank partner] in promoting FedsWISH. [They] may engage with USDA and OPM for collaboration and assistance.”
Additionally, Ahuja said that agencies and employees are encouraged to “combine efforts” as part of an “all out” walk on Sept. 29 from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Agencies should provide 30 minutes of administrative leave for employees to participate in the events, and they should coordinate food collection drives at federal offices and encourage employees to donate non-perishable food items at local food banks.
This article was published first on GovExec, a FederalSoup partner site ("OPM: Here's How Feds Can Help Fight Hunger and Dietary Diseases.")