Letter carriers to collect food donations on Saturday

The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will hold its 21st annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive on Saturday, May 11, collecting items from postal patrons to help the less fortunate.

Stamp Out Hunger food drive is the nation’s largest single-day food drive, helping to provide assistance to millions of Americans who are struggling to put food on the table.

Place food stuffs in bag near mailbox

People can participate by placing nonperishable food items in a bag next to their mailbox, which a letter carrier will pick up and deliver to a local food bank or pantry.

Held each year on the second Saturday in May, the event helps replenish food banks and pantries in more than 10,000 communities. Last year, people donated more than 70 million pounds of food to the Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

What items are needed

Participating letter carriers are sending post cards to residents along their postal routes to encourage them to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable food items next to their mailbox, prior to the regular mail delivery time on Saturday.

Preferred items are canned soup, canned vegetables, canned fish or meats, pasta, peanut butter, rice or cereal.

The food donations are collected as letter carriers deliver the mail and are donated to a local agency or Connecticut Food Bank.

For information about the Stamp Out Hunger food drive in Connecticut, ask a letter carrier, contact a local post office, or visit www.helpstampouthunger.com.

Connecticut Food Bank’s role

The nonprofit Connecticut Food Bank serves more than 650 local emergency food assistance programs around the state. The agency distributes an average of 34 tons of food every business day.

Nancy L. Carrington, Connecticut Food Bank president and CEO, said, “This food drive is needed because more than half of the people in Connecticut who struggle with hunger do not qualify for federal assistance, such as food stamps. They rely on our network of food pantries and soup kitchens for help.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 50 million Americans are “food insecure,” meaning they live at risk of hunger. This includes 17 million children. In Connecticut there are nearly 500,000 individuals who don’t always know where their next meal is coming from — and 151,000 of them are children.