Help stamp out hunger

Saturday, May 10 marks the 22nd anniversary of one of America’s great days of giving — The National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp out Hunger Food drive.

Letter carriers walk through the community every day, often coming face to face with hunger. On the Kenai Peninsula they don’t walk the streets but they are still aware that hunger in our community exists.

So, each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect non-perishable food donations from our neighbors. These donations go directly to local food pantries to provide food to people on the Kenai Peninsula who need help.

Last year, the Letter Carriers collected over 74 million pounds of food Nationally, feeding an estimated 30 million people. Over the course of its 21-year history, the drive has collected well over one billion pounds of food.

The need for food donations is great. Currently The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank touches 20 percent of the population of the Peninsula of those 100 per month are Veterans, 70 to 100 People a day are served In The Fireweed Diner. 426 per month are children who feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school. Many are seniors over age 60 living on fixed incomes, often too embarrassed to ask for help.

This 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.

Participating in this year’s Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is simple.

Just leave non-perishable, non-breakable food donations in a bag by your mailbox or at your Post Office on Saturday, May 10th and your letter carrier will do the rest.

I invite you to join in America’s great day of giving and help us in our fight to end hunger.