Thursday, May 12, 2011

Make a donation to Stamp Out Hunger and help prepare your community

When your postal carrier drops by this Saturday, she or he will be ready to pick up more than just mail. Saturday, May 14, is the national Stamp Out Hunger food drive, during which postal carriers pick up food donations that are set out next to U.S. mailboxes.

Held annually since 1992, the Stamp Out Hunger food drive collected 77.1 million pounds of food donations during the 2010 event, making it the nation’s largest one-day food drive. The event is organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers, with support from the U.S. Postal Service, Feeding America and other sponsors.

To take part, just leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods, such as canned vegetables, pasta, rice or cereal, next to your mailbox before your mail comes on Saturday. Food items should be in non-breakable containers, such as boxes and cans, and should not be expired.

Statistics show that your donation will matter: As of 2009, more than 50 million Americans live in “food-insecure” homes, meaning that they don’t have enough food for themselves and their families. But making a donation to Stamp Out Hunger can do more than fill empty bellies in your community. Food banks play an important role in community preparedness, because they are often where people turn to for assistance after a disaster or emergency.

If you’re not sure whether your postal carrier will be taking part in the food drive Saturday, contact your local post office. You can also help out online: For every person who joins the Stamp Out Hunger Facebook cause and pledges to donate food, the Campbell Soup Company will donate one pound of food — up to 1 million pounds — to Feeding America. For more on the food drive, visit the event website or Twitter.

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