Letter carriers walk though the community every day, often coming face to face with a sad reality for too many: hunger.
So, each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect non-perishable food donations from our customers. These donations go directly to a local food pantry to provide food to people in Bradenton who need help.
Saturday, May 13, marks the 25th anniversary of one of America’s great days of giving – the National Association of Letter Carriers “Stamp out Hunger” food drive.
Last year in Bradenton, we collected 92,120 pounds of food. Nationally we collected over 80 million pounds of food, feeding an estimated 64 million people. Over the course of its 24-year history, the drive has collected 1.5 billion pounds of food, thanks to a postal service universal delivery network that spans the entire nation.
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The need for food donation is great. Currently, 49 million Americans – one in six – are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Thirteen million are children who feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school. More than 5 million seniors older than 60 are food insecure, with many who live on fixed incomes often too embarrassed to ask for help.
Our food drive’s timing is crucial. Food banks and pantries often receive the majority of their donations during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need.
Participating in this year’s Letter Carrier” Stamp Out Hunger” food drive is simple. Just leave a non-perishable food donation in a bag by your mailbox on May 13 and your letter carrier will do the rest. Please help us in our fight to end hunger, as we celebrate our 25th anniversary in America’s great day of giving.
Barbara Miller, letter carrier