‘Stamp Out Hunger’
Saturday May 14th will mark the 24th annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive. All residents of Humboldt County are being asked to participate and help “Stamp out Hunger.” During this nationwide food drive, letter carriers will be picking up donations of non-perishable food and delivering these donations to local food banks throughout our country.
It’s easy to participate. Look for the blue, pre-printed donation bags in your mailbox the week leading up to the May 14th food drive. Simply place your donations of non-perishable food in the bag and leave the bag by your mailbox on Saturday, May 14th. Your letter carrier will do the rest, collecting donations and delivering them to Food for People at their Eureka location or to the food pantry in your community.
This effort by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), with the help of rural carriers, postal employees and numerous other volunteers, has resulted in the delivery of well over one billion pounds of food to community food banks and pantries since its inception more than twenty years ago. In Humboldt County, the food drive has collected an average of 45,000 pounds of food countywide each year, and plays an important role in supplementing the food distributed by Food for People’s pantries and hunger-relief programs. Many of the pantries have already dispensed the food which was donated during the holidays. Food collected during the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive is critical in providing assistance for low-income families during the summer months when school children are without the meal assistance provided during the school year and struggling families are in need of help.
Community members can help through donations of nutritious food. The foods most needed include protein items (canned meats, tuna, and beans), canned vegetables (low sodium) and fruits (in 100% juice), low-sugar cereals, whole grain pasta, low-sodium soups, chili and stews, peanut butter and 100% juice. These items are among some of the essentials needed for a well balanced diet and are often the most difficult for food-insecure families to afford. Items that cannot be accepted include rusty or bulging cans, foods that are clearly beyond their expiration date and home-canned items which all have to be disposed of for health reasons. Please try to avoid donations in glass jars as they can easily break when tossed in with canned items. All food collected stays in the community in which it was donated to help local individuals and families in need. Questions about your community’s participation should be directed to your local post master.
Volunteers are needed to help sort and box the food when it is delivered to Food for People at Eureka and Arcata locations on Saturday, May 14th. This is a perfect opportunity for families, youth groups, civic groups and others to lend a hand for a few hours. Please call Food for People’s Volunteer Coordinator,Leah Tanguay, at (707) 445-3166 extension 310 for more information or visit their web site at www.foodforpeople.org.
If you miss your letter carrier on Saturday, you may drop your donation off Monday through Friday at Food for People, 307 W. 14th St. in Eureka, at one of our drop sites throughout the county, or contact a food pantry in your local community. A list of Food for People’s Pantry Network locations and their schedule of operating hours can be found online at http://www.foodforpeople.org/programs/emergency-food-pantry-network.
Food for People is the official food bank for Humboldt County and last year distributed more than 2 million pounds of food to our county’s most vulnerable members. They are working to alleviate local hunger and improve the health of our community through their 14 programs which include a network of emergency food pantries, food distribution programs for children and seniors, nutrition education and outreach activities, food drives and gleaning efforts as well as many partnerships throughout the community. For more information, go to www.foodforpeople.org.