Your neighbours might be too.
This is a post to promote the American National Association of Letter Carriers Annual Food Drive. This year it's held on May 12th. It's in ALL 50 states and us jurisdictions. The Stamp Out Hunger campaign is one of the most successful food drives in the United States. It's so easy to participate, and it comes at a great time.
For most people, you can just leave a bag of food at your mail box and your letter carrier will pick it up and it will be delivered to your local food bank. For those that have contract letter carriers, you may have to drop it off at your local Post Office.
Last year they collected 70 millions pounds!
This is a great time to donate for several reasons. Firstly, most food banks are starting to get depleted from the Winter Holiday giving, thus those that regularly depend on food pantries are needing a restock. Secondly, those children who are not in year round programs and depend on sponsered breakfast and lunch programs are now out of school. Caregivers need to provide a lot more feeding than during the school year.
It's utterly shameful that in the United States people are sufferring from hunger. In a nation where many of our health problems stem from obesity, it's just disgusting that many people are hungry, especially children. Children in particular need decent nutrition for proper development. While I have no children, this is still my problem as I want the children in my community to develop as properly as possible.
Now, what can you donate? The typical things that food banks get are green beans, and canned soup. Hungry people can't be choosy, but these donations bear some thinking. It's summer, do you really want a hot steming bowl of Chicken Noodle? How many meals of green beans do you eat a week? Of course, vegetables and an occasional soup are yummy items….I try to donate things that aren't always given and either have a lot of bang for the buck nutritionally, or have a high "fun factor" Here's my list:
Noodle mixes (Suddenly salad pasta salads, or liptons side dishes).
Spaghetti-o's (not the best, but kids love them…)
as for the Fun Factor:
Crackers like Ritz or Club.
coffee and hot chocolate mixes
Seasoning packets for meats
Mac and Cheese
Lots of time we think only the Homeless are using the pantry, but in fact, a lot of working people with homes are using food assistance. so I try to keep in mind the tastes of children and adults. I might think capers are cool, but they aren't a typical ingredient in many daily recipes, so I avoid those foods which might make a kid really say "Yuck!"
I Hope all Americans will all consider joining me in leaving a bag of non-perishable goods for you letter carrier on May 12th. You never know who it might help.