On Saturday, May 13, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the United States Postal Service and other partners are asking the communities of Gary and Merrillville to Stamp Out Hunger. This is the 25th anniversary of the food drive, which has grown into a national effort that provides assistance to the millions of Americans struggling to help put food on the table.
The Stamp Out Hunger food drive, held on the second Saturday in May, has become the nation’s largest single-day food drive. In 2016, generous Americans donated 80.1 million pounds of food, feeding millions of people. This was the 13th consecutive year of at least 70 million pounds collected by letter carriers, bringing the grand total to 1.5 billion pounds of food collected, since the Food Drive began in 1993.
“We’re proud to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the food drive,” said Postmaster Charlotte A. Jones. “We’re asking residents for their support to help make this another successful year. It’s easy to make a donation: simply leave a bag of nonperishable food items by the mailbox to help your neighbors in need.”
The need for food assistance exists in every community in America. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 50 million Americans are food insecure, meaning they live at risk of hunger. Perhaps most alarming is the fact that nearly 16 million children in America are struggling with hunger. Additionally, close to 5 million seniors face choices between paying rent, utilities, and having nutritious food.
To participate in the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive residents are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing nonperishable food items such as canned soup, canned vegetables, peanut butter, pasta, rice or cereal next to their mailbox prior to the time of regular mail delivery on Saturday, May 13. Letter carriers will collect these food donations as they deliver the mail and take them to local food banks.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.