Letter carriers plan food drive on May 11

Members of the National Association of Letter Carriers will collect food donations in Pine Bluff, White Hall and rural areas of Jefferson County on May 11 to provide assistance to families struggling daily with hunger.

The Stamp Out Hunger food drive is a nationwide effort that provides food to local food banks and pantries that rely heavily on donations, said Angela Jones, 2013 food drive coordinator the Pine Bluff Post Office.

The nation’s 175,000 letter carriers will collect food donations left at the mailboxes of generous Americans in thousands of communities and and deliver them to food banks and other hunger relief organizations, including pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.

The Salvation Army, Neighbor to Neighbor and the White Hall Food Pantry will distribute the collected donations to needy families, Jones said.

The local drive collected 5,300 pounds of food in 2011, Jones added, and 19,500 pounds of foodstuffs in 2012.

The national food drive has collected more than one billion pounds of food since its inception in 1993. In 2012, Americans

donated more than 70 million pounds of food, which marked the ninth consecutive year that at least 70 million pounds were collected.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual study measuring food security in the United States indicates more than 50 million Americans,

including nearly 17 million children, are food-insecure, meaning they live at risk of hunger, the coordinator said.

Residents are asked to leave a bag of non-perishable food items at their mailbox on May 11. The letter carriers will then pick up and deliver the food to the local food banks.

Examples of non-perishable items cited by Jones include peanut butter, canned soup, canned meats and fish, canned vegetables, fruits and juices, boxed goods (such as cereal), pasta and rice.

For more information about the annual food drive, ask your letter carrier, contact your local post office or visit either www.helpstampouthunger.com or www.facebook.com/StampOutHunger, and follow the drive at www.twitter.com/StampOutHunger.