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Letter Carriers Seek to Stamp Out Hunger

PHOTO: The National Association of Letter Carriers will conduct its 23rd annual food drive tomorrow. People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery on Saturday. Photo credit: Flickr Commons.
PHOTO: The National Association of Letter Carriers will conduct its 23rd annual food drive tomorrow. People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery on Saturday. Photo credit: Flickr Commons.
May 8, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas - U.S. postal workers will be hard at work this Saturday collecting non-perishable food donations for needy families.

The annual Stamp Out Hunger event, held on the second Saturday in May, will take place in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam.

All you have to do, said Brenda Muessel, a letter carrier in Austin, is put your food items next to your mail slot and a postal worker will do the rest.

"Letter carriers across Texas pick them up and take them to their local pantry for much-needed families," she said. "A lot of people are still really struggling. One in four children is at risk of hunger."

Muessel said 49 million people around the country, including millions of children and senior citizens, are affected by hunger. One in four households with a member currently serving in the U.S. military turns to a food bank for assistance.

Pantry shelves that fill up during winter holidays often are bare by late spring. With most school meal programs not available during summer months, Muessel said, millions of children will be looking for alternate sources of nutrition.

"There's a lot of children across Texas that are getting out of school right now," she said. "They rely on school programs such as free breakfasts or free lunches, and so we really need to stock up shelves on the pantry and they really rely on this largest one-day food drive in the nation to get this food for those kids."

As they deliver the mail, the nation's 175,000 letter carriers will be joined by retired letter carriers and countless volunteers to collect donations. People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods such as canned soup, canned vegetables, canned meats and fish, pasta, peanut butter, rice or cereal next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery time on Saturday.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - TX