Letter Carriers Doing Their Part to Stamp Out Hunger
Area food pantries reap the benefits of this national effort.
Leave non-perishable food items for your mail carrier on May 12 if you want to participate in this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive. This national effort will support area food pantries.
“It’s our biggest food drive of the year,” says Melissa Travis, senior director of services for the People’s Resource Center in Wheaton. The center helps low-income DuPage County residents in many ways, including stocking a food pantry. Last year, the PRC received more than 10,000 pounds of food collected by the Stamp Out Hunger drive, Travis told Patch.
The Elmhurst/Yorkfield Food Pantry, Lisle Township Food Pantry and HCS Family Services Food Pantry in Hinsdale are some of the other recipients. For a list of food pantries in DuPage County, click here.
May 12 marks the 20th anniversary of the National Association of Letter Carriers’ (NALC) food drive.
“For two decades now, our annual national drive has proved critical in helping millions of American families—our customers—who are struggling to make ends meet during this continuing recession,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said in a prepared statement.
The drive, considered the largest one-day food-collection event in the nation, has been a success every year, Rolando said, but the needs are particularly sad, even staggering, in 2012.
“Sixteen percent of all Americans are at risk of hunger—uncertain where their next meal may be coming from. That includes 1 in 5 children under the age of 18, plus 4 million seniors who are forced every day to choose between paying a utility bill and buying food,” he said.
Last year, letter carriers collected 70.2 million pounds of food, raising the total amount of donations picked up over the history of the drive to more than 1.1 billion pounds, Rolando said.
“This year, we enter the drive amidst a ‘perfect storm’ of high unemployment, sky-high food and gasoline prices, unprecedented budget cuts to federal nutrition programs, limits on charitable-giving incentives and a decline in federal commodities,” Feeding America President Vicki Escarra said in a prepared statement. “Some of our larger food banks are reporting declines in food inventories of as much as 35 percent from last year."
The drive’s official national sponsors are the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, Campbell Soup Company, Valpak, U.S. Postal Service, United Way, AFL-CIO, Feeding America, Uncle Bob’s Self-Storage and AARP.