You can participate in the nation’s largest food drive on Saturday, May 11 – and you don’t even have to leave home. Just place non-perishable food items at your mailbox and your letter carrier will pick up the donation to be distributed to local food banks.
The National Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is setting records in it’s 27th year, nationally collecting more than 1.5 billion pounds of food in 2018. In Owensboro alone, carriers collected 55 thousand pounds of food and are aiming for even more this year.
Blaine Mathew of United Way of the Ohio Valley said all the donations picked up stay in the community.
Donations will go to Oasis Shelter, Third Baptist Church, King’s Table, Feed a Friend Community Meal, Church Alive, Crossroads and Pleasant Valley Community Church.
“A lot of this carries the food banks through the end of the year,” said Mathew. “Most of them couldn’t do what they do without this event.”
Mathew said since the mail carriers do the hard work of picking up all the food, United Way is happy to help get the word out. “We also want to be confident when people call 211 and get referred to one of these places, they can get the help they need,” he said.
According to Feeding America, more than 43 million or 1 in 7 Americans is food insecure – which means they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) says to set out your non-perishable food well before your letter carrier’s normal pick-up time. A good rule of thumb is to have it by your mailbox by 9 a.m.
The top requested non-perishable food items are: cereal, pasta, pasta sauce or spaghetti sauce, rice, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meals (such as soups, chili and pasta), 100 percent juice, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, canned meats like tuna or chicken and beans (canned or dry).
They ask that you do not donate frozen food or anything homemade. They also cannot accept food in glass containers or that is expired.
Donations are tax-deductible, and if you’d like to encourage others to participate, the NALC has sample social media posts for sharing on their website. Access them directly by clicking here.