Stamp Out Hunger set for Saturday

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 13, 2016

Currently, 48 million Americans are unsure of where their next meal is coming from and one in five children have the same fear according to the U.S. Postal Service.

On Saturday, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) is holding its 24th Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. The effort formerly took place over Mother’s Day weekend, however due to conflicts of the overlapping holiday, the date was moved to the following weekend.

According to the NALC, by spring, many local food pantries are depleted of supplies, approaching the summer low at a crucial time when many providers like schools are not available to feed children in need.

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To participate, just leave a non-perishable food donation of choice in a bag by the mailbox on Saturday morning and let the postal carrier do the rest. The carrier will pick up the bag of food and bring it back to the annex, where the food will be distributed to charitable organizations, churches, and pantries around the area, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

Through this effort, the U.S. Postal Service, National Rural Letter Carriers Association, and others, have collected more than one billion pounds of food during its 23-year tenure in the NALC Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

Sherrie Green, a local letter carrier, has worked in the Picayune area for 21 years, helping and collecting food for those in need during the event.

“It almost makes you cry when you see these donations sitting next to mailboxes when driving around. You just know it’s all going to a good cause and that really puts me in a happy mood,” said Green.

Local letter carriers have put Stamp Out Hunger cards in mailboxes, with simple instructions describing the types of food ideal for this food drive.

All Pearl River County residents are invited to be involved in this charitable event. Letter carriers will collect bags in rural areas as well, said Green.

Green says the biggest year for the food drive was the year after Katrina. Ever since, they have worked hard to repeat the same success.

“Every year we get around 17,000 pounds of food. We bring the food back to the annex and if any charitable organization or church food bank is in need, all they have to do is call and pick up some of the food,” said Green.

Green said the year after Katrina was so successful because a lot of people were willing to give more because the NALC provided brown bags—along with the information cards—in each mailbox, giving the public something to fill easily.

Because of the thrill of seeing these families and children in need fed, Green said she would like to see the bags distributed again, in the hope of a repeat of the year after Katrina.

Any business or community member is welcome to donate to this cause and help those in need.