Stamp Out Hunger food drive coming May 14

Logo of the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food DriveCampbell Soup Company will join forces Saturday, May 14, with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) to provide assistance to DeKalb and Sycamore families struggling to put food on their tables every day.

The Stamp Out Hunger food drive collected a record 77.1 million pounds of food donations last year, pushing the 18-year total to more than one billion pounds of food.

“Students will still be in the process of moving out this coming week, just before the food drive on Saturday,” said Clare Kron, graduate biology student and wife of a DeKalb letter carrier.

“It couldn’t be easier to participate. Just fill a bag with cereal, crackers, soup, and other non-perishables you don’t want to bring back home, and leave it near your mailbox. A letter carrier will pick it up when he delivers the mail.”

Even those moving out of residence halls can bring the snacks they don’t want to pack up down to their front desk and a mail carrier will pick them up from there. All these food donations from the NIU area will be brought to the DeKalb Salvation Army Food Bank. “Just be sure to mark the bags, ‘FOOD DRIVE,’ ” Kron added.

The need for food assistance across America has never been greater.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual study measuring food security in the United States, the number of Americans living in a food insecure home surpassed 50 million in 2009 (the most recent year that such data is available).

Perhaps most alarming is that approximately one-third of those at risk of hunger are children (17.2 million).

The Stamp Out Hunger food drive, held annually on the second Saturday in May, has become the nation’s largest single-day food drive. This year letter carriers representing nearly 1,500 local branches of the postal union collected food donations along their postal routes. These donations will be used to replenish food banks and pantries in more than 10,000 communities. 

In addition to producing more than 80 million postcards to be delivered to homes across America to remind everyone to participate in the drive, Campbell will again donate one pound of food (up to one million pounds) to the Feeding America food bank network for every person who joins the Stamp Out Hunger cause on Facebook.

Feeding America, a national partner in the drive, is the nation’s leading domestic-hunger-relief organization, providing assistance to more than 37 million Americans every year. Today, one in eight Americans relies on the organization for food and groceries. In a recent survey conducted by Feeding America, nearly half (46 percent) of all households the organization serves reported having to choose between paying for utilities or food.

Also supporting the drive as national partners are the U.S. Postal Service, the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, Valpak, the AFL-CIO, United Way and Uncle Bob’s Self Storage. More information about the Stamp Out Hunger food drive in DeKalb and Sycamore is available by asking letter carriers or contacting local post offices.

“Being a college student doesn’t leave much time for community service,” Kron said. “Here’s a last chance this semester to make a significant contribution to a critical need.”

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