Letter carriers to Stamp Out Hunger’ with your help
May 07. 2014 9:47AM
This Saturday marks the 22nd anniversary of one of America’s great days of giving – the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect non-perishable food donations. These donations go directly to local food pantries to provide food to people in need, and there are many in the area who need our help.
Over the next few days, a shopping bag and postcard will be mailed to more than 150,000 residents in the Sioux Falls area, asking community members to participate in the annual food drive. The postcard encourages residents to leave non-perishable food items such as canned soup, canned vegetables, pasta, rice or cereal in a bag by the mailbox to help neighbors in need.
All of the local food items collected will be donated to Feeding South Dakota, who will use these food items to stock the shelves at Feeding South Dakota’s Food Pantry in Sioux Falls.
“With the increasing need at the food pantry, food drives like this one help ensure we can keep our shelves full throughout the year. On average, we distribute 77,000 pounds of food per month, which wouldn’t be possible without the help of organizations like NALC. We are very fortunate to live in such a supportive community,” said Jim Dawson, Eastern Operations Manager for Feeding South Dakota.
The local food drive is part of the nation’s largest single-day food drive benefiting Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. Last year, over 74 million pounds of food was collected, feeding an estimated 30 million people. Over the course of its 21-year history, the drive has collected more than 1 billion pounds of food for hungry individuals and families.
In Sioux Falls, the NALC is looking to surpass the previous year’s collections due to the support of local businesses. Thanks to the local HyVee stores, each home will receive a shopping bag, serving as a reminder to place items outside on the May 10th pickup date.
The need for food donations is great. Currently, 49 million Americans – 1 in 6 –are unsure where their next meal is coming from. In South Dakota, 1 in 8 individuals are food insecure. Children in these households feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school.
The timing of the NALC’s food drive is pivotal, as well. Food banks and pantries often receive the majority of 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.
Participating in this year’s Letter Carrier National Food Drive, and helping our area community members, is simple. Leave non-perishable food donations in a bag by your mailbox the morning of Saturday, May 10th and a letter carrier will pick it up. Please join in America’s great day of giving and help “Stamp Out Hunger.”