Huber: Postal collection strives to stamp out hunger
One of the area’s biggest drives to help stamp out hunger will be conducted again this Saturday locally and we can all play an important part by simply helping out.
The National Association of Letter Carriers will be conducting their 20th annual food drive May 11, collecting nonperishable food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes. It is the nation’s largest single-day food drive, and is held annually on the second Saturday in May in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam.
In the past, letter carriers have collected millions of pounds of food donations along their routes, bringing the total to well over 1.2 billion pounds for the NALC’s food drive, which began in 1992.
About 50 million people around the country are affected by hunger each year. Food bank and food pantry shelves filled up through winter-holiday generosity often are bare by late spring. And, with most school meal programs suspended during summer months, millions of children must find alternate sources of nutrition.
That’s where the efforts of the annual food drive come into play with the generosity of local residents on this particular day, playing a key role in restocking local food pantry shelves.
Toward that end, postal employees will begin leaving plastic grocery bags in mailboxes this week (some of you may already have had them delivered) in advance of the Saturday collection.
To donate, residents are encouraged to fill the bags with canned goods, pasta, rice or cereal (no glass or breakable items) and set them next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery on May 11. If you don’t plan on being home Saturday, you are encouraged to leave them another day of the week and postal carriers will still pick them up as they see them.
The food will be taken back to respective postal stations, sorted and then delivered to the food bank outlets for distribution, including the Emergency Food Pantry, Dorothy Day House and Great Plains Food Bank.
So help out a valid, worthwhile cause by filling the grocery bag and setting it out Saturday.
For more details about the Stamp Out Hunger event, contact your local post office, or go to helpstampouthunger.com or visit nalc.org.