The largest single-day food drive in the United States also happens to be one of the easiest to be a part of. All it takes is a quick trip to your mailbox.
On Saturday, May 10th, over 230,000 letter carriers nationwide, including over 5,000 here in the Valley will be picking up canned food donations on their regular mail routes during the 22nd Annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive.
A drive that began right here in Phoenix in 1976 with letter carriers from NALC Branch 576 picking up food donations in their own pickup trucks has evolved into a national effort that has collected more than a billion pounds over the last two decades for Americans suffering from food insecurity. More than two million pounds was collected across Arizona in 2012.
Throughout the week leading up to the food drive, local letter carriers will be dropping off reminder post cards and special grocery bags to both city and rural residents’ mailboxes. The letter carriers encourage those who can help to fill the bags, or any other grocery bag, with nonperishable food items and leave them by their mailboxes on the morning of Saturday May 10th. Your letter carrier will do the rest, making sure the food gets to the one in five Arizonans – and one in four children – dealing with hunger issues in our state.
Arizona, and especially the Valley, is known for its intense summer heat. Food demand increases with children out of school, while donations dwindle with many residents escaping to cooler climates. With 28 percent of Arizona children living in poverty, and tough economic times challenging the community further, Arizona Food Banks rely on “Stamp Out Hunger” to provide that much-needed influx of food. St. Mary’s distributes more than 40,000 emergency food boxes each month, as well as providing food to the 300-plus agency partners it serves.
Items most needed by the food banks include canned fruit and vegetables, soups and meals in a can, pasta, peanut butter, tuna, rice and cereal.
For more information on this event visit www.helpstampouthunger.com.