Saturday morning to-do list: Mow lawn. Wash car. Clean garage. Leave food for the letter carrier.
It’s not that the carriers need a snack. It’s to help them deliver on a promise they made 17 years ago to help fight hunger in America.
Every second Saturday in May, letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns collect non-perishable food for the nation’s food banks. This year’s collection is this Saturday, May 9.
In 2008, the drive collected nearly 37 tons of food for the needy, bringing the total for the first 16 years to 455 tons.
Food collected along routes in the Santa Clarita Valley will be donated to the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry.
“Last year, the letter carriers here collected 26 tons of food,” said Belinda Crawford, the Pantry’s executive director. “This collection is being done in the time of our largest need, just before the summer when children are out of school and not getting the free breakfast or lunches.”
Crawford said that the Pantry experienced 60 percent client growth in 2008 over the previous year and that the first quarter of 2009 was already 48 percent. The recession has hit the community hard, but she said that when they are pressed, the “village” of Santa Clarita steps up and takes care of each other.
To participate in this year’s drive, simply leave nonperishable items either in or near the mailbox at your home before the letter carrier’s expected arrival time. Suggested items include peanut butter, pasta, beans, and canned fruits and vegetables.