This Saturday provides an opportunity to end hunger in America, and it all starts at your mailbox. The National Association of Letter Carriers and the Campbell Soup Company are sponsoring the Stamp Out Hunger Drive. This Saturday, May 12th, citizens are asked to put out canned goods (non-perishable items) by their mailbox. The food will be collected by their mail carrier and then distributed to foodbanks.
The charity Feeding America says the Stamp Out Hunger Drive is the largest single food drive in the country. The event provides a significant boost to Feeding America’s network of emergency foodbanks across the country.
Sarah Cook of the Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank says that last year Stamp Out Hunger donations produced enough food for 80,000 meals provided to the area’s hungry. Denise Gibson of the Ozarks Food Harvest said 131,000 pounds of food were donated by citizens of Southwest Missouri via Stamp Out Hunger.
Terry Shannon, the President of the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Arizona says Stamp Out Hunger raises “Between 350,000 and 400,000 pounds (of food). It is the largest one day food drive for the food bank.” St. Mary’s provides aid throughout Arizona including supporting summer feeding for children in Maricopa County. The agency also assists Apache County, which has a 28% food insecurity rate, one of the highest in the country.
Dan Getman of the Food Bank of South Jersey said the event last year produced 119,550 pounds for their agency to distribute. Getman adds that Campbell’s Soup is sending out collection bags to homes in South Jersey to encourage donations.
Foodbanks all across the country need help as there are nearly 49 million people suffering from hunger.
The collection of canned goods can provide some quick relief especially at a time of the year when donations are generally down as compared to the holidays.
There is one extra thing Americans can do via the Stamp Out Hunger Drive. You could send a letter or an e-mail this Saturday to your representative in Congress asking them to fight hunger. You can remind them of the need to support the nation’s foodbanks as you will be doing on Stamp Out Hunger Day.
Nora Balduff of the Second Harvest Foodbanks of Ohio says Stamp Out Hunger “comes at a lean time of year for emergency food relief, after the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.” The Mid-Ohio Foodbank, West Ohio Foodbank, Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, The Foodbank, Inc. (Dayton), and The Shared Harvest Foodbank (Fairfield) all benefit from Stamp Out Hunger.
Balduff adds that the event “also comes at a time when one of our federal partners in hunger relief, the U.S. House of Representatives, could vote on May 10th to cut SNAP/food stamp benefits by an average of $57.00 for a family of four by September 2012 (H.R. 4666)…Caring Ohioans do their part to end hunger, we need our federal partners to do the same.”
You can also ask your representative to take steps to improve the nation’s school feeding program, particularly during the summer months when many hungry children are not able to access school meals.
Ask your representative to pledge to fight hunger in America and also abroad where children are starving in Africa, Afghanistan, Yemen and other areas. Your elected officials can follow a tradition of Truman, Eisenhower and other leaders who supported ending hunger.
So this Saturday’s Stamp Out Hunger Drive can be a great success. By donating canned goods you can provide quick relief to our nation’s foodbanks as they struggle to keep up with the growing hunger crisis in America. Via a simple letter you can ask your elected officials in Congress to represent you and your desire to end hunger in America and all over the globe.
For more information visit Stamp Out Hunger.
Article first published as The Stamp Out Hunger Drive: Helping to End Hunger in America on Blogcritics.