It’s that time of year again; time to pack your neighbor’s lunch and dinner before you set out for your Saturday activities and leave it for the mail carrier.
For the 19th year, letter carriers across the nation will collect food left at mailboxes and donate it to local food banks. All you have to do is put some non-perishable, non-breakable food items in a bag (or two) and put it out before the carriers make their rounds.
And here in the valley, all food collected during the 19th annual National Association of Letter Carriers “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive will go to the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry, which serves several thousand individuals and families in our community.
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Here’s what their website lists as “needed most”
- Canned meat, beans, soup, fruit, tomatoes
- Peanut butter
- Dried soups
- Pasta and rice
- Dry milk
- Toothpaste, toothbrushes
- Bar soap
- Shaving cream
- Feminine hygiene products
This food drive, the largest in the world, will take place this Saturday, May 14. This food drive is a critical source of food for the SCV Food Pantry. It comes at the beginning of summer when the local children are out of school and do not have the school lunch programs they depend on during the school year.
“Last year’s drive in the Santa Clarita Valley resulted in more than 30 tons of food donated to the SCV Food Pantry,” said Belinda Crawford, the Pantry’s Executive Director. “The food donated by the residents of Santa Clarita through the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive carries us through the summer months when donations are at their lowest and need is the highest.”
NALC President Fredric V. Rolando made a special appeal to active and retired members this year, asking all to make an extra effort to ensure that this year’s drive will be a success. To hammer home the point, Rolando noted government reports that show that more than 50 million American families—including 17.2 million children—are living in homes lacking sufficient food.
“May 14 is the one day in the year when letter carriers take control of the conversation about hunger in America, making a loud and clear case for providing a chance for millions of families, and millions of children, to have a hunger-free summer,” Rolando said. “Our hard work and sacrifice will not go unnoticed, I assure you.”
This year, the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry is celebrating its 25th anniversary of neighbors helping neighbors. It was established in 1986 by a small group of community volunteers.
The SCV Food Pantry uses food donations from the community to provide supplemental food, at no charge, to low-income residents of the Santa Clarita Valley. The Pantry distributed $1.3 million dollars worth of food last year to needy families and senior citizens in our community.
More than 100 volunteers work together each week to sort food, prepare bags, and assist clients, working to achieve the commitment of the Pantry that “No child in the Santa Clarita Valley should go to bed hungry.”
Partnering with the NALC in this effort to help “Stamp Out Hunger” is Campbell Soup Company. Val-Pak Direct Marketing Systems, Inc. is joining the campaign with the NALC by providing direct mail advertisements about the Food Drive to homes in all 50 states.
For information about food donations for the NALC Food Drive contact the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry at 661-255-9078.