UNION — The needy families and individuals served by four churches, the Union County Council on Aging, and the Salvation Army will be the beneficiaries of Saturday’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive which collected more than twice the food collected in the 2012 food drive.
The National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is an annual event in which the nation’s 175,000 letter carriers collect food donations from postal customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. Since it began in 1992, the NALC’s annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has collected a total of 1.2 billion pounds of food including 70.7 million pounds in 2012.
The food drive is held the second Saturday in May with letter carriers collecting donations of food residents leave by their mailboxes or bring to their local post offices. The donated food is then collected at the post offices and distributed to churches and other organizations that provide food assistance to the needy in those communities.
This year’s food drive was held this past Saturday and Union Post Office Supervisor Amy Garrett said the amount of food collected was more than twice that collected in 2012.
“This was the best turnout we’ve had in a while,” Garrett said Monday. “Last year we had maybe six containers. This year we ended up with 14 containers and we’re still collecting.”
Donations began coming into the Union Post Office before Saturday’s food drive and Garrett said donations are still coming in and that carriers will continue collecting this week.
“If they want to put food out this week we’ll collect it,” Garrett said. “In fact, we’ve already had some people bring it in this morning. We appreciate all the support from the people of Union County.”
Garrett said the food collected will be distributed to the Union County Council on Aging, the Salvation Army, The Potters Storehouse in Jonesville, Buffalo Methodist Church in Buffalo, and First Baptist Church and Covenant Baptist Church in Union. Even as Garrett was speaking, volunteers with The Potters Storehouse arrived and began to load up the church’s share of the donated food.
Donations to the Stamp Hunger Food Drive should be of non-perishable food items in cans and boxes such as beans; soup; grits; noodles; macaroni and cheese; and cereal; canned meats and fish; canned vegetables, fruits, and juices; and pasta and rice.
The NALC Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is held the second Saturday in May in order to help local churches and other organizations replenish their food pantries which are often bare by this time of the year. It also helps address the problem of school meals programs being suspended for the summer. In a statement announcing this year’s food drive, the NALC also pointed out that hunger is a growing problem in America, affecting 50 million people including 17 million children and nine million senior citizens.