By Jennifer Durrant
Community Action Services and Food Bank will team up with local mail carriers for the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) 27th annual Stamp Out Hunger® food drive on Saturday, May 11. Food donated will benefit families and individuals facing hunger throughout Utah, Wasatch and Summit counties.
The Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive, the country’s largest single-day food drive, provides residents with an easy way to donate food to those in need. Most importantly, the food donations stay in each community, going to help local residents. “Over 78,000 residents of Utah, Wasatch and Summit counties don’t have reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food,” said Dave Smith, Food Bank Manager at Community Action Services and Food Bank. “It’s a painful struggle for families and individuals to face. We are hopeful that this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive will help these families not only be healthier but also feel the support from their neighbors.”
On May 11, as they deliver mail, the nation’s 202,000 letter carriers will collect the donations that residents have left near their mailboxes. People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag or two containing non-perishable foods next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery on Saturday. “This is a labor of love for letter carriers, and we are proud to see how it has grown in impact over the years,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “It’s an honor to be able to help people in need all across the country—and to do so in a way that brings out the best in so many Americans.”
The timing is important, with food banks, pantries and shelters running low on donations from the winter holidays and with summer approaching, when most school meal programs are suspended. Most-needed items include canned meat, stew, chili, fruit, condiments and peanut butter. Items for Kids Nutrition Packs (like granola bars, juice boxes, raisins, crackers, Easy Mac and Chef Boyardee microwavable meals) are also very helpful.
The mail carriers will deliver reminder flyers and donation bags to local households during the week of May 6. The Community Action Services and Food Bank 2018 Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive collected 75,100 pounds. The goal for this year is to collect 90,000 pounds of food. Also, financial donations are especially helpful and allow the food bank to stretch the value by using funds to procure food through grocery rescue and other discount or distressed sources.
“The generosity of people in our surrounding communities is especially appreciated.” Smith said, “and with awareness, community support and business involvement, I’m confident that our goal can be met and even exceeded. Everyone benefits when those who are less fortunate receive support in their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency.” Success with the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive in 2019 will make a difference to many who are facing hunger. For more information or to make a financial contribution, visit communityactionuc.org.