MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- State and local government are stepping in to make sure Memphians are eating healthy.
The USDA's Feds Feed Families program encourages federal employees to donate food to those in need.
Last year, nearly 9 million pounds of food were collected across the country.
It is a nationwide effort to help families lead healthy lives.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is working with the USDA to encourage people to eat nutritious food.
Karen Comfort with the USDA said people in poverty often turn to cheaper, processed food to get by.
"They're not being nourished," she said. "They're hungry, and they're eating, but it's not nutritious food."
Wednesday, at the Agricenter, the feds explained to its employees why it is so important to donate. Unlike most food drives, this one encourages you to donate perishable food like fresh produce.
"We hold it during the summer months, because it's the time when donations to food banks drop significantly," Comfort said.
The donations here go to the Memphis Food Bank and Saint Andrews.
The feds also want to push farmer's markets and locally grown food to ensure communities as a whole are healthy, not just individuals.
"We all can do it if we focus on it," Tennessee Department of Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said. "Focus on the right decisions, smart decisions. That's what this program is about."
The Feds Feeds Families food drive goes through August 27. Donation boxes are set out at all federal employee's office buildings.