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Drive to help bag hunger

Food donations to be collected by mail carriers, delivered by pantry

Posted: May 6, 2009 8:42 p.m.
Updated: May 7, 2009 7:30 a.m.

The SCV Food Pantry is asking local residents to help eliminate hunger by participating in the nation’s largest single-day food drive Saturday.

Donors can leave a sturdy bag of non-perishable foods such as canned soup, canned vegetables or meat, peanut butter, pasta, rice or cereal next to their mailboxes prior to the time of regular mail delivery on Saturday. Food items should be in non-breakable containers such as boxes and cans. Local letter carriers will collect donations and deliver them to the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry.

“In these difficult economic times, hunger is an issue that must be addressed in every community across our country,” said William H. Young, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers. “We see it daily on our routes. That’s why now more than ever before, we need everybody’s help to make a real difference.”

SCV Food Pantry Executive Director Belinda Crawford said all food collected in the Santa Clarita Valley will stay in the valley. “This food that’s collected helps the food pantry through the most difficult two months out of the year,” Crawford said. “Summer months are the months (that) donations are the lowest and the need is the highest.”

Kids on summer break lose the benefit of the National School Lunch Program and must eat at home over summer. That puts a stretch on the budget of lower-income families, she said.

Last year, the pantry collected 26 tons of food through the drive, Crawford said.

“At the SCV Food Pantry we distribute about a ton each day,” she said.

The pantry saw a 48-percent increase in families requesting services in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter of 2008.

“There are a lot of hurting families out there right now,” she said.

More than 36 million Americans live in food-insecure households and approximately one in every three of these Americans is a child, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry distributed food to more than 5,500 individuals in 2008 – half of them were children, according to a pantry press release.

The Stamp Out Hunger effort’s Web site is SCV Food Pantry’s phone number is (661) 255-9078.



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