Letter carriers are in our community every day, often coming face to face with a sad reality for too many — hunger.
So, each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect non-perishable food donations from their customers.
These donations go directly to local food pantries to provide food to people in Gilmer who need help.
Last year, over 74 million lbs. of food was collected nationally, feeding an estimated 30 million people.
The need for food donations is great.
Currently, 49 million Americans — 1 in 6 — are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Sixteen million are children. Hunger has an impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school.
Nearly five million seniors over age 60 are food insecure, with many who live on fixed incomes often too embarassed to ask for help.
The food drive’s timing is crucial. Food banks and pantries often receive the majority of their donations 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.
Participating in this year’s Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is simple.
Just leave a nonperishable food donation in a bag by your mailbox on Saturday, May 10, and your letter carrier will do the rest.
All are invited to participate.