May 4, 2023
BY JOHN BAILEY
The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will conduct its annual national food drive on Saturday, May 13.
The Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive is the country's largest single-day food drive and provides residents with an easy way to donate food to those in need.
“The Salvation Army food pantry relies heavily on the Letter Carriers food drive,” Major Angela Repass of The Salvation Army of Greater Hickory said. “The food collected means that local men, women and children do not have to go hungry. This drive literally feeds our neighbors.”
Every post office in Catawba County participates, and letter carriers will collect the donations residents leave near their mailboxes as they deliver mail along their postal routes on May 13. People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, canned meats and fish, pasta, rice or cereal next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery on Saturday.
The food is distributed to local non-profits like the Hickory Soup Kitchen, Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry (ECCCM) in Newton, The Salvation Army in Hickory, Hopewell UNC, Good Samaritan Food Pantry and Open Door Homeless Mission.
And every item donated has an impact.
Last year, the Hickory Soup Kitchen served an average of more than 150 people and 225 plates of food every day, and in 2021, ECCCM’s Charlie Bunn Food Pantry moved over 1.5 million pounds of food through its food pantry.
Residents are asked not to donate frozen food, homemade food, home-canned items or items that have expired or are in glass containers.
The Letter Carriers' food drive 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, according to the NALC.
Over the course of its 31-year history, the drive has collected well over 1.88 billion pounds of food, thanks to a postal service universal delivery network that spans the entire nation.
Food banks and pantries often receive most 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.
It remains as important as ever, with many people facing economic struggles. Hunger affects about 1 in 6 people around the country, including millions of children, senior citizens and military veterans.
Learn more at https://nalc.org/community-service/food-drive or call the United Way at 828-327-6851.
To learn about local food resources in Catawba County, visit www.ccunitedway.com/catawba-county-food-resources.