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Fighting hunger!

Next Saturday, May 8th, Americans are being asked to do their part in the fight against hunger in this country.

Stamp Out Hunger” is the National Association of Letter Carriers’ (NALC) annual effort to help fight hunger in this country. The NALC is working with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to collect bags of non-perishable food items from postal customers at their homes.

“The 18th annual NALC National Food Drive to “Stamp Out Hunger” is the largest one-day food drive in the nation. Carriers collected a record 73.4 million pounds of food in last year’s drive.” http://www.nalc.org/commun/foodrive/

This food drive takes place in more than 10,000 cities and towns across the country. Areas in all 50 states participate, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. (In New York City, where transportation limitations preclude mailbox pickup, citizens are asked to take donations to their local post offices between Monday, May 3rd and Saturday the 8th.)

Hunger is a prevalent problem, even in better economic times than these.  According to End Hunger CT, hunger knows few boundaries.
“• Hunger exists throughout Connecticut, in our cities, suburbs and rural communities.
• In Connecticut, 8.8% (122,000) of households, many of them with children, are food insecure (based on latest USDA figures).
• 45,000 (3.2%) people in Connecticut suffer from very low food insecurity at some point during the year (based on latest USDA figures)
• One out of five children, 102,000 youngsters, under the age of twelve, are hungry, or at risk of hunger.
• Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare, the state’s two food banks, provide food for over 350,000 different people annually.
• Working people make up 25% of those using emergency feeding programs (meal site or food pantry).
• Over 212,000 people in Connecticut participate in the Food Stamp Program (based on latest USDA figures)*.” http://www.endhungerct.org/hunger_ct.htm  

This year’s “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive is the 18th that has been held by NALC and the UPSP. Other partners include the United Way, Feeding America, and the AFL-CIO. Campbell’s Soup Company is a corporate partner in this effort, as is the direct marketing company Valpak.

The Connecticut Food Bank tells us, “To help Stamp Out Hunger in Connecticut, simply leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods, like canned soup, canned vegetables, pasta, rice or cereal, next to your mailbox prior to the time of regular mail delivery on May 8. Food items should be in non-breakable containers, such as boxes and cans. Local letter carriers will be collecting donations from homes across the state and delivering them to Connecticut Food Bank and other local and regional hunger-relief organizations.” http://www.ctfoodbank.org/cfbnews.php?id=44

So, help your neighbors in need here in Connecticut. This is a simple way to make a great deal of difference in their lives.

 *Data last updated December, 2008.

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