Saturday, May 10 marks the 22nd anniversary of America’s largest-single day of giving — the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.
To participate, postal customers are asked to leave a non-perishable food donation in a bag by their mailbox this Saturday. The Postal carrier will do the rest. It’s that simple and millions of Americans will be helped, officials said.
Currently, 49 million Americans—1 in 6—are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Sixteen million are children who feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school. And nearly 5 million seniors over age 60 are food insecure, with many who live on fixed incomes often too embarrassed to ask for help.
In 2013, 74 million pounds of food was collected by Postal carriers nationally, feeding an estimated 30 million people. Over the course of the 21-year history, the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has collected well over one billion pounds of food.
In South Carolina, Harvest Hope Food Bank, and Low Country Food Bank join in with local churches, charities and food pantries throughout the state to bring in the largest food donation of the year. In 2013, Harvest Hope, which serves 20 Upstate, Midlands and Pee Dee counties in South Carolina, received 173,296 lbs. of donations. Lowcountry Food Bank, which covers 10 of South Carolina’s coastal counties, received 127, 617 lbs.
The food drive’s timing is crucial. Most donations are received during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need.