Originally posted in the Vacaville Reporter: The 24th annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive will be taking place on Saturday, May 14.
The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano is busy preparing for this largest one-day national food drive of the year.
Be on the lookout for a postcard in your mailbox from your letter carrier asking you to put out a bag of food to share with your neighbors in need. Letter carriers work extremely hard on this day to make it as easy as possible for you to help the food-insecure members of our community.
To participate in this event, all you need to do is leave a bag of nonperishable food by your mailbox prior to your regular Saturday mail delivery. The food collected helps feed low-income children during the summer months when they are out of school and without access to free meals.
The Food Bank received over 181,000 pounds of food last year from this drive; more than 70 million pounds of food was collected nationwide. To accommodate the volume of incoming food, we place our Food Bank vehicles strategically throughout the community to serve as collection sites for the letter carriers. Safeway and Lucky Supermarkets also help out by lending us their trailers to act as additional collection locations.
To make this event a success, the Food Bank reaches out to the community for help in processing these donations. We get assistance from businesses, service clubs and faith communities.
On the Monday morning after the food drive, we unload cardboard bins of canned goods into our warehouse. These collapsible bins are triple-stacked and fill our warehouse. Our volunteer groups lend a helping hand by sorting food into a variety of categories including canned vegetables, canned fruit, ready-to-eat meals and a dozen other categories.
After the food is sorted, we are able to distribute it to the 180 agencies we serve.
We are thankful to be a part of this monumental community effort. We appreciate the hard-working letter carriers, the support of the grocery stores and the numerous volunteer groups. But none of this would be possible if it weren’t for everyday citizens willing to share some food with their neighbors in need.
We are part of a generous caring community who understands that no one in this country should ever go hungry.
Please mark your calendar, set a reminder on your phone or put a string around your finger… whatever it takes to remind you to participate in this crucial food drive!
Something as easy as sharing some food staples like peanut butter, hearty soups, dried or canned beans, grains, tuna or canned fruits and vegetables can mean the world to hungry families.
The author is executive director of the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, based in Concord. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.