You know that bag of food you’ve been meaning to drop off at the local food pantry? This Saturday, your mail carrier will do the work for you.
May 12 marks the 20th annual Stamp Out Hunger, and it couldn’t be easier to participate. Simply put a bag of nonperishable food out with your mail. Your postal worker will collect it on his or her route and deliver it to a local food aid organization.
Stamp Out Hunger is the nation’s largest single-day food collection drive, according to the U.S. Postal Service. Last year, carriers picked up 70 million pounds of food.
Each can, each box of spaghetti, each tuna tin is food that’s desperately needed. A 2011 food insecurity study by Feeding America found that nearly 49 million people—including one of every five children—needed emergency food assistance that year.
Around here, donations will go to the Food Bank of South Jersey, which serves 170,000 individuals monthly in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties by funneling food to local groups. That figure includes 36,000 in our communities who would otherwise go hungry.
“When school lets out for the summer, our need rises sharply,” says Val Traore, CEO of the Food Bank of South Jersey. “We ratchet up our efforts to reach hungry people this time of year. That’s why Stamp Out Hunger is so important.”
The food bank especially needs canned proteins such as tuna, salmon, chicken and beans. Canned fruits and vegetables are also high on the list of items preferred for their nutrient rich qualities and shelf stable durability.
Look for a Stamp Out Hunger bag to arrive in your mailbox very soon, or just put your own bag out on Saturday.
“If there’s an easier way to feed your neighbor, I sure don’t know what it is,” says Val Traore, CEO of the Food Bank of South Jersey. “You don’t even have to leave your home.”