About one in six Americans goes hungry or wonders where the next meal will come from. That’s a reality of life in the United States today. But another fact of life in this country is that people and organizations get together to tackle such problems and to help their fellow Americans.
The NALC will conduct its 22nd annual food drive this Saturday. Using the unparalleled postal networks, letter carriers will collect non-perishable 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.
Among the local volunteer groups that will help will come from Combined Community Services and the Salvation Army.
Stamp Out Hunger has never has been more important. The extreme winter weather and other natural disasters many regions experienced not only exacerbated problems in many communities, but also turned some who typically give food into recipients of help.
“Many people in this country still go hungry every day,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “We are honored to be able to help people in need by leading an effort that brings out the best in so many Americans. Six days a week, letter carriers see first-hand the needs in the communities where we work, and we’re committed to helping meet those needs.”
Hunger affects about 49 million people around the country, including millions of children and senior citizens. 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.
Last year, letter carriers collected 74.4 million pounds of food donations along their postal routes, the second-highest amount since the NALC’s food drive began in 1992. That brought the total to nearly 1.3 billion pounds for the food drive. Locally, over 9,000 pounds of food was collected during last year’s Stamp Out Hunger drive.
Throughout the county, residents are asked to leave a bag of nonperishable food at their mailbox early Saturday morning. Mail carriers will collect the bags on their regular routes and deliver them to the Warsaw Post Office where it will be distributed to food pantries that serve Kosciusko County. Donations may also be brought to the post office where volunteers will be collecting it throughout the day.