Did you know that 49 million Americans struggle to feed their families? Imagine having to choose between paying rent and putting food on the table. For 1 in 6 Americans and 1 in 5 children, hunger is an everyday concern. School children who rely on free/reduced-price lunches are about to come home for the summer. And around this time of the year, food banks start running out of food; most donations are made during the holiday season.
Luckily, the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive replenishes local food banks’ shelves each year. In 2016, the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive transported 80 million pounds of donated nonperishable food to local charities in need. On the second Saturday in May, letter carriers pick up donations left by mailboxes on their usual delivery route. They then deliver them to a local food pantry.
Participating in the nation’s largest one-day food drive is very easy and has a huge impact on the community. All you need to do is leave a bag or bags of nonperishable food by your mailbox next Saturday morning, May 13th! There is no special bag, label, or sign-up needed.
How to Participate in Stamp Out Hunger
Whenever you go grocery shopping this upcoming week, consider adding some non-perishable foods to your cart to help out local families in need. I picked up a few things this past week, and will again next time I go to the store. By purchasing items that were on sale, I was able to fill a bag for under $20. I researched some of the most desired foods for donation, but overall, keep in mind that families in need deserve good food too – not unwanted cans from the back of a shelf. Donate foods you enjoy serving your family!
Here are some of the most requested foods for donation:
- Cereal or oatmeal
- Pasta sauce (in a can, not a jar!)
- Whole grain pasta
- Macaroni and cheese
- Boxed or canned meals
- Rice or whole grains
- Boxed or dried milk
- Peanut butter
- Canned fruits, veggies, proteins and beans
- 100% juice
- Canola or olive oil
Here’s some foods that shouldn’t be donated:
- Glass containers
- Frozen foods
- Homemade foods
- Opened, damaged or expired foods