The 25th annual Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is Saturday..
Letter carriers across the country, and right here in Crawford County, will be collecting non-perishable food items for local food pantries as they deliver the mail on the second Saturday in May.
Just set out your non-perishable food well before your letter carrier's normal pick-up time - the earlier the better. Note that he or she will be delivering and collecting mail as usual, on top of collecting food donations, so that pickup time could be slightly later than usual. Your letter carrier might also have helpers. A good rule of thumb is to have the bags by your mailbox by 9 a.m.
The top requested non-perishable food items are: cereal, pasta, pasta sauce or spaghetti sauce, rice, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meals (such as soups, chili and pasta), 100 precent juice, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, canned protein (tuna, chicken and turkey), beans (canned or dry). You also can donate healthy, low-sodium, low-sugar items such as beans, oatmeal and other whole grains, and canola or olive oil.
All food stays in your local community. It's not shipped off to some regional distribution center hundreds of miles away. If you want to know where your donation is going, call your local post office and ask to speak to your local food drive person.
NALC President Fredric Rolando said. "Preparation and coordination for Food Drive Day can be challenging," he said. "Despite the challenges, we look forward to it each year because of the important role we're playing in the fight against hunger in this country."
Letter carriers are keenly aware, too many of their customers live in challenging situations, uncertain of where their next meal will come.
"We deliver to every address in America at least six days a week," Rolando said, "and because we're such a consistent and familiar presence in neighborhoods, we're all too familiar with the unfortunate reality of ongoing hunger."
Over the last 24 national food drives, letter carriers have collected more than 1.5 billion pounds of food, helped by untold thousands of fellow postal employees, retired letter carriers, family members and friends. The food is then distributed to local food pantries within the same communities where it was collected.
Joining NALC this year as national food drive partners are the U.S. Postal Service, National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, United Way Worldwide, AFL-CIO, AARP Foundation, Valpak and Valassis.
Keep in touch with the food drive's official social media accounts-on Facebook, "like" facebook.com/StampOutHunger, and on Twitter, follow @StampOutHunger.