Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

May 10, 2013

Local letter carriers assist food drive

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The largest one-day food drive in the nation to help the needy is set for Saturday.

Hundreds of letter carriers in the Buffalo-Niagara area will be conducting the massive campaign with the slogan Stamp Out Hunger, a drive that was first launched in 1976.

In the days leading up to the collection, local letter carriers have been distributing post cards and, in some instances, grocery bags to both city and rural residents’ mailboxes. A spokesman said the National Letter Carriers Association has collected more than a billion pounds over the last two decades for Americans in need.

Letter carriers in Niagara County and countless other communities have asked people who can help to fill grocery bags with non-perishable food items and leave them by their mailboxes Saturday morning. Items most needed by the food banks include canned fruits and vegetables, soups and meals in a can, pasta, peanut butter, tuna, rice and cereal.

The campaign in the Buffalo-Niagara area is older than the national Stamp Out Hunger, which was held for the first time in 1993.

According to Stamp Out Hunger, 2012 marked the ninth consecutive year that at least 70 million pounds were collected. Still, despite the generosity of millions of Americans who have supported the letter carriers’ food drive in previous years, the need for food assistance still exists for millions of families. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual study measuring food security in the United States, more than 50 million Americans, including nearly 17 million children, are “food insecure,” meaning they live at risk of hunger.

Working in conjunction with the letter carriers are the United Way of Niagara, the AFL-CIO, the U.S. Postal Service and many volunteers.