On Saturday, May 8, Santa Clarita letter carriers will be picking up more than outgoing mail in their travels. Residents are asked to help the postal workers “Stamp Out Hunger!” by leaving a donation of nonperishable food next to their mailboxes for the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry to ensure that no one in our community goes to bed hungry.
The Stamp Out Hunger! effort is the nation’s largest single-day food drive and provides assistance to the one in eight Americans who struggle with hunger.
This is the 18th year of the nationwide food drive, which began in 1993, will be the time when letter carriers break through the 1 billion-pound level in community food donations.
Last year, letter carriers across the country collected a record total of more than 73.4 million pounds of food, but with hunger impacting many Americans – including working families, children and elderly – help is needed now more than ever before.
Supporting the drive again this year are Campbell Soup Company, the U.S. Postal Service, Valpak, the AFL-CIO and United Way of America.
Simply leave a sturdy bag of non-perishable foods, like canned soup, canned vegetables or meat, peanut butter, pasta, rice or cereal next to your mailbox prior to the time of regular mail delivery on Saturday, May 8. Food items should be in non-breakable containers such as boxes and cans. Letter carriers will be collecting donations from homes across the city and delivering them to the Pantry, where volunteers will sort and distribute the collected goods. Food Pantry.
“The need has never been greater.” Said Postmaster General John E. Potter.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 36 million Americans live in food insecure households, and approximately one in every three of these Americans is a child. The Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry distributed food to more than 6,500 individuals in 2009 – 43 percent of them children. The reasons cited for this dramatic increase in demand includes rising food cost of food, increased unemployment and underemployment, the cost of fuel and the burden of mortgage and rent costs.
Food pantries are also notoriously empty during the summer months, having exhausted the supply of donations received from food drives conducted during the holidays that are then distributed in the spring.
“The National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive each May and summer donations are critical since schools are not in session and many children in need will have benefit of the breakfast and lunch programs through the National School Lunch Program.” said Belinda Crawford, Executive Director of the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry.
For more information about the annual Stamp Out Hunger! effort in Santa Clarita, ask your letter carrier, contact the post office or visit www.helpstampouthunger.com or contact the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry at 255-9078.