When your postal carrier drops by this Saturday, she or he will be ready to pick up more than just mail. Saturday, May 11, 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.
Now in its 21st year, the Stamp Out Hunger food drive collected 70.5 million pounds of food in 2012. 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, non-expired foods, such as canned vegetables, pasta, rice or cereal, next to your mailbox before your mail comes on Saturday. Carriers will bring the food to local food banks, pantries or shelters. If you’re not sure whether your postal carrier will be taking part in the food drive Saturday, contact your local post office.
Studies 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 stomachs 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 can’t take part in Saturday’s food drive, you can hold your own event at another time of the year. APHA’s Get Ready campaign has a free how-to toolkit for making your community food drive a success.
For more information on the food drive, visit the Stamp Out Hunger event website or follow the food drive on Facebook or Twitter.