But he also raised the possibility of an upset by another agency, such as Homeland Security, which donated the third-biggest haul last year.

It will take a few million pounds, Keeler said, "to knock both of them off the top of the hill."

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By the numbers

50 million — number of people with inadequate food supplies in America

17 million — number of children who face hunger

2.7 million — pounds of food and household items raised last year by Department of Agriculture employees

2.1 million — pounds raised by the Department of Defense

718,000 — pounds raised by the Department of Homeland Security

Source: Feedingamerica.org and the Department of Agriculture