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Connecticut Food Bank is joining the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) on Saturday, May 12, to Stamp Out Hunger. Now in its 20th year, the Stamp Out Hunger food drive is the nation’s largest single-day food drive, representing 1,300 local branches of the postal union. Participating letter carriers across the country are collecting non-perishable food donations that day along their postal routes.
Held each year on the second Saturday in May, the event helps replenish food banks and pantries in more than 10,000 communities. Last year the Stamp Out Hunger food drive collected 70.2 million pounds of food donations, pushing the 19-year total to more than 1.1 billion pounds of food.
“Connecticut Food Bank thanks the letter carriers for efforts to help us alleviate hunger in Connecticut,” said Nancy L. Carrington, Connecticut Food Bank’s president and CEO. “This food drive is important because recent data tells us that 61 percent of the nearly 400,000 people in Connecticut who struggle with hunger do not qualify for federal assistance, such as food stamps. They rely on our network of food pantries and soup kitchens for help.”
Letter carriers who are participating are sending post cards to residents along their postal route to encourage them to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable food items, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, canned fish or meats, pasta, rice or cereal next to their mailbox prior to the regular mail delivery time on Saturday, May 12. The food donations are collected as letter carriers deliver the mail and are donated to a local agency or Connecticut Food Bank.
The need for food assistance continues to exist in every community in America, no matter how rich or poor. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual study measuring food security in the United States, the number of Americans living in food insecure homes reached nearly 49 million in 2011 (the most recent year that such data is available). Perhaps most alarming is the fact that more than 16 million children in America – and nearly 1 in 5 in Connecticut - are faced with the prospect of hunger.
Connecticut Food Bank is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to alleviate hunger. The organization supplies food products and resources to eligible programs throughout six of Connecticut’s eight counties and promotes public awareness about the problem of hunger. Founded in 1982, the Food Bank is the largest centralized source of emergency food in Connecticut.
Also supporting the drive as national partners are the U.S. Postal Service, National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, Campbell Soup Company, Valpak, United Way, AFLCIO, Feeding America, Uncle Bob’s Self-Storage and AARP.
For more information about the Stamp Out Hunger food drive in Connecticut, ask a letter carrier, contact a local post office, or visit www.helpstampouthunger.com, www.facebook.com/StampOutHunger, or www.twitter.com/StampOutHunger.