HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – May 11 marks the 21st annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive to combat hunger, put on by the National Association of Letter Carriers.
It is the nation's largest single-day food drive, and is held annually on the second Saturday in May in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam.
The national hunger problem affects about 50 million people, 17 million of those are children, and nine million are senior citizens. Last year, the letter carriers collected 70.7 million pounds of food donations, which brings the all-time total of food collected for that NALC's food drive since 1992 to 1.2 billion pounds.
People are encouraged to leave a bag of non-perishable food items, like canned soup, canned vegetables, canned meats and fish, pasta, rice or cereal near their mailboxes before their regular mail delivery on Saturday.
"We're honored to be able to help people in need by leading an effort that brings out the best in so many Americans," said NALC President Fredric Rolando.
Carriers will collect the food and take it to local food banks, pantries or shelters.
The food that is donated to needy families during the winter holidays normally runs out by late spring, about the same time children get out of school for the summer. With most school meal programs suspended during summer months, children must find another source of nutrition.
"The timing of the food drive is important, and that's why we selected the second Saturday in May," said Pam Donato, who coordinates the NALF's Stamp Out Hunger effort.