On Saturday, May 10, United Way of North Central Florida will join forces with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) to provide assistance to Alachua County families struggling to put food on their tables every day.
The Stamp Out Hunger food drive, held annually on the second Saturday in May, has become the nation’s largest single-day food drive. To participate in the food drive this year, residents can leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable food items next to their mailbox prior to regular mail delivery on Saturday, May 10. Letter carriers will collect these donations and take them to community food banks.
“The Stamp Out Hunger is the easiest most effective way to impact your community directly,” said Tony Tallerico, Union President at 1025 Main Street Station Post Office. “The food collected on May 10th will be distributed to local needy residents of Gainesville the very next day.”
Last year, Stamp Out Hunger collected over 74 million pounds of food Nationally, feeding an estimated 30 million people. Locally, Gainesville collected more than 52,000 pounds of food. Over the course of its 21-year history, Stamp Out Hunger food drive has collected well over one billion pounds of food, thanks to a postal service universal delivery network that spans the entire nation, including Puerto Rico, Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands.
The need for food donations is great. Currently, 49 million Americans—1 in 6—are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Sixteen million are children who feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school. And nearly 5 million seniors over age 60 are food insecure, with many who live on fixed incomes often too embarrassed to ask for help. Locally, 43,160 people in Alachua County are food insecure.
Our food drive’s timing is crucial. Food banks and pantries often receive the majority of their donations during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need.
Debbie Mason, United Way of North Central Florida’s President & CEO, applauds the joint efforts of the groups involved. “Stamp Out Hunger brings area residents together to feed the hungry during a time of year that has a high demand but typically not the supply of food that is available during the holiday season,” said Mason. “The hard work and commitment of the letter carriers is what truly makes this event so successful.”
United Way supports Stamp Out Hunger throughout the United States. AARP Drive to End Hunger, AFL-CIO, Campbell’s, Feeding America, National Association of Letter Carriers, National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, Publix, Uncle Bob’s Self Storage, Valassis, and Valpak are also sponsors.
For more information, please visit http://www.helpstampouthunger.com.