May 6, 2016
To the Editor:
Dear residents of Washington:
Saturday, May 14, marks the 24th 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 a sad reality for far too many, hunger.
So, each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect nonperishable food donations from our customers. These donations go directly to local food pantries to provide food to people in Washington who need our help.
Last year, we collected over 71 million pounds of food nationally, feeding an estimated 35 million people. Over the course of its 23-year history, the drive has collected well over 1.4 billion pounds of food, thanks to a postal service universal delivery network that spans the entire nation, including Puerto Rico, Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands.
Locally in Washington over the last seven years, we have collected just over 14,000 pounds of canned goods and received just over $3,500 in monetary donations.
The need for food donations is great. Currently, 49 million Americans ? one in six ? are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Sixteen million are children who feel hunger?s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school. And nearly 5 million seniors over age 60 are food-insecure, with many who live on fixed incomes often too embarrassed to ask for help. Currently, 45 percent of our local school children receive free or reduced lunches in Washington, so the need is there!
Our 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 a nonperishable food donation in a bag by your mailbox on Saturday, May 14, 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.
Andy Miller, Bob Spenner, Dan Schulte, Troy Jeffrey, Fawn Janecek, Ginny Atchley, Je?taime Miller, Lynn Geisen, Tina Hill, Don Bayliss, Nate Fink, Marci Stanfield ? City and Rural Carriers of Washington