UNION — Five local food banks and the people they serve are the beneficiaries of the 7,000 pounds of food collected by the letter carriers with the Union Post Office as part of the 22nd annual National Association of Letter Carriers’ “Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.”
On the second Saturday in May for the past 22 years, letter carriers across the nation collect food donations from the customers of the U.S. Postal Service. The food collection is supported by The National Association Of Letter Carriers and The National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association. Sponsors also include Campell’s, AARP, Publix, AFL-CIO, and The United Way.
In 2013, the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive collected more than 74 million pounds of food nationally which was used to feed an estimated 30 million people. Over the course of its history, Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has collected over one billion pounds of food through the U.S. Postal Service’s universal delivery system that spans America, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
That delivery system includes the Union Post Office which this past weekend collected 7,000 pounds of canned and other non-perishable foods donated by their customers.
“We collected around 7,000 pounds, a lot of canned goods and a lot of bags of rice and beans,” Phillip Hughey, a City Carrier for the Union Post Office said Wednesday. “We appreciate all the turnout. This is the best we’ve done in three or four years.”
All the food was donated by postal customers who either left their donations in bags provided by the letter carriers alongside their mailboxes or by dropping them off in a hamper in the post office lobby.
The food donated as part of the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has been distributed to five local food banks including Trinity Baptist Church’s Channel of Blessings Community Outreach Ministry, Bethel United Methodist Church, Buffalo United Methodist Church, the Salvation Army, and The Potters Storehouse.
Currently, 49 million Americans — 1 in 6 — are unsure where their meal is coming from. This includes 16 million children whose health and ability to perform in school are impacted by hunger. It also includes nearly 5 million seniors over the age of 60 who are “food insecure” because they live on fixed incomes and are often too embarrassed to ask for help.
The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is held in spring because of the need of local food banks and pantries whose supplies — most of which they received during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season — are now depleted. They are running low on food as summer approaches when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need.