Saturday, May 13, marks the 25th anniversary of one of America’s great days of giving – the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Letter carriers travel through the community every day, often coming face to face with the sad reality for too many, hunger.
So, each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect non-perishable food donations across the community. These donations go directly to the Food Bank of Central Louisiana and local food pantries to provide food to people in central Louisiana who need food assistance.
Last year, more than 80 million pounds of food was donated nationally, feeding an approximately 64 million people. In central Louisiana, more than 70,000 pounds of food was donated. Over the course of its 24-year history, the food drive has collected well over one billion pounds of food, thanks to a postal service universal delivery network that spans the entire nation.
The need for food donations is great. Currently, 49 million Americans – 1 in 6 – are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Sixteen million are children who feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school. And nearly 5 million seniors over the age of 60 are food insecure, with many who live on fixed incomes often too embarrassed to ask for help.
This food drive’s timing is crucial. Food banks and pantries often receive the majority of their donations during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need.
Participating in this year’s Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger food drive is simple. Just leave a nonperishable food donation in a bag by your mailbox on Saturday, May 13, and your letter carrier will do the rest. With your help, letter carriers and the US Postal service have collected more than 1.5 billion pounds of food since this food drive began. Please help us in our fight to end hunger, as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Letter Carriers’ Stamp out Hunger food drive.