FORT WAYNE—Saturday, May 10 marks the 22nd anniversary 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 a sad reality for too many, hunger. Each year, on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect non-perishable food donations from residents. These donations go directly to local food pantries, and provides an enormous amount of food to the Associated Churches Neighborhood Food Network to provide food to people in Fort Wayne and the surrounding area who need help.
Last year, the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive collected more than 74 million pounds of food Nationally, feeding an estimated 30 million people. Over the course of its 21-year history, the drive has collected well over one billion pounds of food, thanks to a postal service universal delivery network that spans the entire nation, including Puerto Rico, Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands.
The need for food donations is great. Currently, 49 million Americans—one in six—are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Sixteen million are children feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school. And, nearly five million seniors over age 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. Your participation is vital the help end the fight against hunger in our community.
“Give what you can, as much as you can. It all stays here to feed the hungry,” said Milton Gray, Letter Carrier/Food Drive coordinator for Branch 116. “Don’t worry about how heavy your donations are—just give as much as you can. We consider this an outing and we enjoy it.”
Participating in this year’s 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 10th and your letter carrier will do the rest. We invite you to join in America’s great day of giving and help in the fight to end hunger.
“Feeding the hungry is a command made repeatedly in scripture, and at Associated Churches we take that command seriously. While distributing close to 1.5 million meals can be difficult, it is made possible through organizations such as the National Association of Letter Carriers’ and the many volunteers who make an event like the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive a success,” said Roger Reece, executive pastor. “We depend on the donations from this food drive to supply our pantries for several months, and want to say thank you to everyone who works in community to make this event such a success.”
For more information on Associated Churches of Fort Wayne & Allen County, please visit the website atwww.AssociatedChurches.Org or contact Roger Reece at 260-422-3528, ext. 102.
For more information on the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, visit http://www.nalc.org/commun/foodrive/index.html.