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Stamp Out Hunger On May 8

POSTED May 5, 2010 1:09 a.m.

On Saturday, May 8, Oakdale letter carriers will again help ‘Stamp Out Hunger!’ across America with the community’s help in order to provide assistance to the rapidly increasing number of Americans who are struggling with hunger.

Now in its 18th year, the Stamp Out Hunger! effort is the nation’s largest single-day food drive. In 2010, drive organizers hope to exceed last year’s record-setting total of 73.4 million pounds of donated food, as well as surpass one billion pounds of food collected over the history of the drive.

Supporting the drive this year are Campbell Soup Company, the U.S. Postal Service, Feeding America, Valpak, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, the AFL-CIO and United Way Worldwide.

Last year, the local postal service collected 5,400 pounds of canned goods for Community Sharing and this year, they’re hoping to surpass that number by 1,000 pounds.

“Each year it gets bigger and bigger,” Oakdale Postmaster Ray Tenorio said of the fundraiser. “We always have a great response from the community. It’s nice to know that there are people out there who are willing to give.”

To help support the postal carrier food drive in Oakdale this year, simply leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods, like canned soup, canned vegetables, pasta, rice or cereal, next to your mailbox prior to the time of regular mail delivery on Saturday, May 8. Food items should be in non-breakable containers, such as boxes and cans. Local letter carriers will be collecting donations from homes across the city and delivering them to Community Sharing.

“In these trying times it’s important for Americans to rally behind causes like the Letter Carriers Food Drive to help their neighbors struggling with hunger,” said Fredric V. Rolando, NALC president. “While we’re very proud of our success over the years in the battle against hunger, the fact remains that more Americans than ever are in need, which is why we remain committed to this drive.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual study measuring food security in the United States, the number of Americans living in food insecure homes increased from 36.2 million in 2007, to 49.1 million in 2008. Perhaps most alarming of this total, approximately one in four is a child (16.7 million).

The effects of the recession and unemployment rates are also having a dramatic impact on the agencies that help the hungry. In a recent survey conducted by Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic-hunger-relief organization, its 203 food bank members consistently reported increased demand for emergency food assistance, ranging from five to 150 percent. Today, food banks are struggling to meet the surging needs of their clients.

“All the carriers and postal employees enjoying participating in this good cause,” Tenorio said. “It feels good inside to know that you’re helping people.”

Campbell, a long time supporter of the letter carriers’ drive, will kick off the effort with a donation of one million pounds of product to Feeding America. The company also sponsors, along with the U.S. Postal Service, a reminder postcard being mailed to more than 120 million homes the week of the drive.

“Our corporate mission is to nourish people’s lives everywhere, every day,” said Douglas R. Conant, Campbell’s President and CEO. “Campbell’s ongoing commitment to the Letter Carriers’ food drive allows our company to make a meaningful contribution toward the critical issue of hunger that is impacting more and more Americans daily. The power of this program is when millions of Americans have the opportunity to provide a food donation that will then be used to help a neighbor in need in their community.”

For more information about the annual Stamp Out Hunger! effort in Oakdale ask your letter carrier, contact the local post office, visit either www.helpstampouthunger.com or www.facebook.com/StampOutHunger, or follow the drive at www.twitter.com/StampOutHunger.

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