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Help ‘Stamp Out Hunger!’ in America

Food: The 18th annual food drive will bring postal patrons and workers together to fight hunger

Posted: April 23, 2010 1:17 a.m.
Updated: May 7, 2010 11:51 a.m.
 
On May 8, Santa Clarita Valley letter carriers will again help Stamp Out Hunger! across America with your help, in order to provide assistance to the one in eight Americans who struggle with hunger.

The Stamp Out Hunger! effort is the nation's largest single-day food drive. This, the 18th year of the event, will be the time when letter carriers break through the 1-billion-pound level in community food donations.

Last year, letter carriers across the country collected a record total of more than 73.4 million pounds of food, but with hunger impacting many Americans - including working families, children and elderly - help is needed now more than ever before.

Supporting the drive again this year are Campbell Soup Company, the U.S. Postal Service, Valpak, the AFL-CIO and United Way of America.

To help Stamp Out Hunger! in the SCV, simply leave a sturdy bag of nonperishable foods, like canned soup, canned vegetables or meat, peanut butter, pasta, rice or cereal next to your mailbox prior to the time of regular mail delivery on May 8. Food items should be in nonbreakable containers such as boxes and cans.

Local letter carriers will be collecting donations from homes across the city and delivering them to the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry.

"The need has never been greater," said Postmaster General John E. Potter.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 36 million Americans live in food insecure households, and approximately one in every three of these Americans is a child.

The Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry distributed food to more than 6,500 individuals in 2009 - 43 percent of them children. The reasons cited for this dramatic increase in demand includes rising food cost of food, increased unemployment and underemployment, the cost of fuel and the burden of mortgage and rent costs.

Food Pantries are also notoriously empty during the summer months, having exhausted the supply of donations received from food drives conducted during the holidays that are then distributed in the spring.

"The National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive each May and summer donations are critical since schools are not in session and many children in need will have benefit of the breakfast and lunch programs through the National School Lunch Program," said Belinda Crawford, executive director of the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry.

"Our corporate mission is to nourish people's lives everywhere, every day," said Sean Connolly, President, Campbell USA. "Campbell's ongoing commitment to the letter carriers' food drive allows our company to make a meaningful contribution towards resolving the critical issue of hunger that continues to impact nearly every community in America. I hope millions of Americans will join us once again on May 8 to help Stamp Out Hunger! as the need is greater than ever."

Greg Bicket, president and CEO of Cox Target Media, provider of Valpak Direct Marketing Systems, said, "Supporting this food drive is an undertaking we do not take lightly, because we know the importance of filling the nation's food banks, and that (helping organize) this largest food drive of the year will help so many families."

For more information about the annual Stamp Out Hunger! effort in the SCV, ask your letter carrier, contact the post office or visit helpstampouthunger.com or contact the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry at (661) 255-9078.

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