KOSCIUSKO — Saturday, May 11, marks the 27th year of one of America’s great days of giving — the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger food drive.
Letter carriers walk through the community every day, often coming face to face with the reality that too many people are hungry.
Each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect non-perishable food donations from mailboxes. These donations go directly to local food pantries to provide food to people in Kosciusko County who need help. Last year, over 80 million pounds of food were collected nationally, feeding an estimated 64 million people. Over the course of its 26-year history, the drive has collected 1.6 billion pounds of food, thanks to a postal service universal delivery network that spans the entire nation.
Participating in the Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger food drive is simple. Just leave a non-perishable food donation in a bag by your mailbox on Saturday, May 11, and your letter carrier will do the rest. Food donated will go to the Salvation Army of Kosciusko County and Combined Community Services.
The best items to donate are peanut butter, cans of soup or stew, macaroni and cheese, pasta noodles, canned fruit, cereal or crackers. It is important to give from the front of your pantry, not the back. The food drive can’t use expired food. Share the foods your family loves to eat every day. Use it as a teaching experience with your children.
The food drive’s timing is crucial. Food pantries often receive the majority of their donations during the holiday season. 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.
The need for food donations is great. Currently, 1 in 6 Americans are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Thirteen million are children who feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school. More than 5 million seniors over age 60 are food insecure, with many who live on fixed incomes often too embarrassed to ask for help.