Food / Groceries, Personal Finance

Post Office’s Stamp Out Hunger Day to Help Food Banks

stamp out hunger food drive 2014
Each year, the second Saturday in May turns out to be the largest single-day food drive in the US. Letter carriers in over 10,000 cities across the nation will be collecting food today, May 10, 2014, from the homes of people on their mail routes, as part of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive. This food drive has been able to deliver over one billion pounds of food to those in need over the past 21 years.

To participate, all you need to do is leave any nonperishable boxed, plastic container or canned food (no glass of any kind) that you’re willing to donate in a bag or box at the base of your mailbox before the mailman arrives. Please take the time to check the expiration date on the food containers as those foods with expired dates can’t be accepted.

Postal carriers will come by on their regular mail route to pick up any food that is left by the mailbox. You can also go to your local post office to donate food. The food will sorted, then distributed to food banks, pantries and shelters in the local community where it was collected. In 2013, the food drive was able to collect 72,000,000 pounds of food for local food banks.

There are currently over 15 million people who face hunger on a daily basis in the US. This includes approximately 17,000,000 children. By participating in this Stamp Out Hunger drive, you can directly help those who are in need in your local area.

While many people think about hunger around the holidays, it’s often forgotten about the rest of the year. The truth is that hunger in the US is a year-round issue for millions of families who have fallen on hard times. This includes the “unseen hungry” who tend to be elderly folks who live on fixed incomes. This food drive helps put a spotlight on the needs of the hungry at a time when many might not otherwise be thinking about it.

For those who plan to donate, try to donate nonperishable food that you would want to eat yourself. Below you’ll find a list provided by the San Antonio Food Bank of 12 types of food that food banks love to receive. These are items which are in high demand at most food banks across the country.

what food banks want
If you want to help out your local food bank even more, consider donating other items they love to get, but aren’t often donated. Since what is accepted besides canned and boxed food can vary quite a bit depending on your local food bank, you’ll need to contact yours directly to see which of the items they do accept. You’ll also need to donate these directly to your local food bank.

So take a few minutes to look through your selves to see what you have on hand that can help a family in need. Even if it’s only a single can of food, it will be greatly appreciated.

5 thoughts on “Post Office’s Stamp Out Hunger Day to Help Food Banks

  1. We participate every year because exactly as you wrote, the food pantry we support needs food not only around the holidays, but throughout the year. Our economy has been hit hard the past few years and there seems to be a bigger and bigger need unfortunately. How blessed many of us are that we are comfortable enough with our finances and can help out.

  2. I contributed some of my surplus nonperishable pantry items, and I’m not even in a comfortable position, except if you call comfortable not having to rely on a food bank.

    I seriously considered gathering some of my excess herbs and spices into some spare small canisters I have, labeling them, but I didn’t know if the food bank wanted storebought and still-wrapped/never opened.

  3. So, what good does a food drive like this do if they don’t even pick up the food?

    Some canned goods were left outside our mailbox for pickup, and not only was it *NOT* picked up, but animals got into it and I had to throw it all away. I’m sure as hell not going to ever do this again.

    Perhaps they should try using someone else other than the lazy postal employees who couldn’t be bothered…

  4. Hi. I volunteered at the food bank, and unfortunately, they can’t take items you have repackaged/relabeled.
    They cannot take expired items either.
    They will take items you have have opened and tried if the contents are individually wrapped. For example, if you buy a box of crackers with 4 individually wrapped sleeves, use only one, and re-tape the box, they can accept it.

  5. I live in Florida and stock up each year in June on canned goods and what not for Hurricane Season. Hurricane Season ends in November, and so if there has not been a hurricane I will donate my canned goods for the Thanksgiving season. I don’t know if this sounds mean on ungrateful, but I feel grateful that I did not have to endure a hurricane, and want to pass forward the grattitude in hopes the canned goods can be put to better use than sitting in my pantry. I guess I feel its a better cycle of prepardeness and helping than having canned good sit on a shelf for years waiting for a maybe hurricane (its now been 8 years since the last hurricance, knock on wood) .

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