Letter carriers to help stamp out hunger

Published 9:49 am Thursday, May 5, 2011

On Saturday, May 14, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will join forces with Second Harvest of South Georgia Inc. to provide assistance to families struggling to put food on their tables every day.

Last year,. the Stamp Out Hunger food drive collected more than 175,000 pounds of food donations in the 30 counties serviced by Second Harvest, and 77.1 million pounds nationwide.

The Stamp Out Hunger food drive, held annually on the second Saturday in May, has become the nation’s largest single-day food drive. This year letter carriers representing 67 branches from Atkinson, Baker, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Calhoun, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Grady, Irwin, Lanier, Lee, Lowndes, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Sumter, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Ware and Worth counties will collect food donations from their postal routes. These donations will be used to replenish the shelves at the Valdosta, Thomasville, Albany and Douglas branches operated by Second Harvest of South Georgia.

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“As letter carriers, we see people on our routes six days a week that must rely on the generosity and assistance of others to help provide something as basic as a meal. We’re proud to have established a program that truly provides assistance in every community across the country,” said NALC President Fredric V. Rolando.

In addition to producing more than 80 million postcards to be delivered to homes across America to remind everyone to participate in the drive, Campbell Soup Company will again donate one pound of food (up to 1 million pounds) to the Feeding America food bank network for every person who joins the Stamp Out Hunger Cause on Facebook. Americans can trigger a donation by visiting www.Facebook.com/StampOutHunger.

The need for food assistance in South Georgia has never been greater, with 24 percent of the residents living in poverty. In 2010, Second Harvest of South Georgia distributed more than 14 million pounds of food to member non-profit agencies; in the last eight months alone, more than 1 million pounds were distributed each month—the first time in the organization’s history.

To participate in the Stamp Out Hunger food drive in your home town this year, leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable food items, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, canned fish or meats, peanut butter, pasta, rice or cereal next to/inside your mailbox before your regular mail delivery time on Saturday, May 14.

Your letter carrier (including many rural carriers), will collect these food donations as they deliver the mail and take them to your local Second Harvest of South Georgia branch.

For more information about the Stamp Out Hunger food drive, ask your letter carrier, contact a local post office, or visit www.helpstampouthunger.com, www.facebook.com/StampOutHunger or www.twitter.com/StampOutHunger.