On Saturday, May 8th, Central Louisiana letter carriers will again work to Stamp Out Hunger with the help of the residence in our community. Now in its 18 year, the Stamp Out Hunger effort is the nation’s largest single-day food drive. In 2010, the organizers hope to exceed last year’s record-setting total of 73.4 millions pounds of donated food, as well as surpass one billion pounds of food collected over the history of the food drive. More than 19,887 pounds were collected in Central Louisiana during last year’s drive. Supporting the drive this year are Campbell Soup Company, the U.S. Postal Service, Feeding America, Valpak, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, the AFL-CIO and United Way Worldwide.
To help Stamp Out Hunger in Central Louisiana this year, simply leave a sturdy bag containing nonperishable foods, like canned soup, canned vegetables, pasta, rice or cereal, next to your mailbox prior to the time of regular mail deliver on May 8th. Food items should be in non-breakable containers, such as boxes and cans. Local letter carriers will be collecting donations from homes across the city and delivering them to The Food Bank of Central Louisiana. “In these trying times, it’s important for Americans to rally behind causes like the Letter Carriers Food Drive to help their neighbors struggling with hunger,” said Fredric V. Rolando, NALC president. “While we’re very proud of our success over the years in the battle against hunger, the fact remains that more Americans than ever are in need, which is why we remain so committed to this drive.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual study measuring food security in the United States, the number of Americans living in food insecure homes increased from 36.2 million in 2007, to 49.1 million in 2008. Perhaps the most alarming, of this total, approximately one in four is a child (16.7 million).
The effects of the recession and unemployment rates are also having a dramatic impact on the agencies that help the hungry. In a recent survey conducted by Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization, its 203 food bank members consistently reported increased demand for emergency food assistance, ranging from five to 150 percent.
Campbell, a long time supporter of the letter carriers’ drive, will kick off the effort with a donation of one million pounds of product to Feeding America. The company also sponsors, along with the U.S. Postal Service, a reminder postcard being mailed to more than 120 million homes during the week of the drive. “We are extremely pleased to be working with the National Association of Letter Carriers during this food drive,” said Jayne Wright-Velez, executive director of the Food Bank. “By taking a leadership role in the fight against domestic hunger, the NALC continues to make a significant impact in the lives of many needy Americans.”
For more information about the annual Stamp Out Hunger effort in Central Louisiana, ask your letter carrier, contact your local post office, or contact the Food Bank of Central Louisiana at (318) 445-2773.