“I know a lot of places do food drives but we really want the D.C. community to know the lobbying community and association world are also doing their part to make sure kids and families have things this time of year,” Miller added.
On Tuesday, trucks will pick up each company’s donations and bring them to the event, where the thousands of items will be on display on Wednesday.
Miller has high expectations for the event’s first year. “We really hope we can do 3,000 pounds and get to doubling it in the next couple of years,” he said.
Companies such as Alliant Techsystems Inc. in Arlington, Va., have already seen substantial giving from employees.
“In the past — every year — we have a United Way campaign. It’s a company-wide effort and every individual is allowed to select where their contribution will go,” said Brian Wagner, director of congressional relations at ATK. The food bank has always been heavily supported in that capacity, but this year’s hands-on campaign to support the local organization has given employees new motivation, according to Wagner.
As of this week, they have brought in about 2,500 pounds of donations.
The event, designed to supply food around the Thanksgiving season, is also a means of enabling large Washington private sector types to better support the needs of community members — even after the giving season ends, Miller said.
“It goes beyond Thanksgiving, making sure their shelves aren’t empty, making sure these kids have the nutrition they need,” Miller said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.