Yes, I participated, cleaned out my pantry, and feel good about myself. But it shows a bad example to the vox populi.
If I were 48 years old, unemployed, unemployable, lost my house, with benefits running out, and found out about stuff like this? I'd be doing more than a slow burn.
The message this sends? Highly compensated federal workers are spending time collecting bags of food, and organizing social events on the taxpayers dime. At my Agency I got invites to:
Ice Cream Social
Lunch & a Movie! “Office Space” [apparently a cult classic movie]
line dancing (beginner, fun) in the courtyard
There are existing federal programs to feed hungry people in America (like food stamps), and something like this just siphons off scarce resources from Agencies whose mission is not food. (And if Agencies are not pressed for resources? I wouldn't be advertising that.)
Folks should weigh if the benefits of the food collected (negligible) are worth making the federal workforce look foolish (or worse).
Just to make this crystal clear, if people now look upon federal employees as "highly compensated", the economy is really in the tank. And if the justification for this "high compensation" is that the federal work requires more highly educated and skilled workers, why exactly are these highly educated and skilled workers lugging around bags of food? And organizing food drives?
At the Feds Feed Families website today 2011-07-15 I counted 120 Agency contacts. So figure on a minimum of 120 FTE on this project at $100K per, you get $12 million. The goal is 2 million pounds of food. This equates to $6 per pound of food.
Get out of the charity business. You are competing against thousands of non-profits who resent the feds muscling in on their livlihood.