News release from the United Way of Allen County:
Local food pantries need re-stocking:
Residents urged to support Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive May 12
Associated Churches staff say their food pantries are running short of supplies and they’re urging residents to give generously to the upcoming Stamp Out Hunger Letter Carriers Food Drive. The food drive is set for Saturday, May 12, 2012; residents are asked to leave a bag of non-perishable food by their mailboxes for pickup by their letter carriers.
Many of our food pantries are having to close their doors early, said Roger Reece, executive director of Associated Churches. The pantries are simply running out of food before they can serve everyone. We need help from the community to ensure that none of our neighbors go hungry.
Last year, the Fort Wayne-area collected more than half a million pounds of food during the Stamp Out Hunger food drive, said local food drive organizer Milton Gray. We hope area residents will help us meet or surpass that total this year – our friends and neighbors are counting on us.
The U.S. Department of Agricultureâ€˜s most recent study on hunger shows that almost 49 million Americans live in homes that are “food insecure,” said Todd Stephenson, president and CEO of United Way of Allen County. Perhaps even more alarming is the fact that one in every five children is regularly faced with hunger. We can all help alleviate this suffering by supporting the Stamp Out Hunger food drive.
2012 marks the 20th annual National Association of Letter Carriersâ€˜ Food Drive to Stamp Out Hunger. The one-day 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. Carriers last year collected a record 70.2 million pounds of food donations along their postal routes. Last year in the Fort Wayne-area, letter carriers, schools and residents contributed 534,373 pounds of foodâ€”more than any other Indiana community.
In Fort Wayne, much of the food will be taken to Associated Churches Neighborhood Food Network, which offers families food at no charge through a network of 28 local food pantries in churches and social agencies. In 2011, Associated Churches served more than 1.3 million meals to more than 86,000 individuals.
National partners in the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive are: the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Rural Letter Carriersâ€˜ Association, Campbellâ€˜s, Feeding America, Valpak, the U.S. Postal Service, United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO, the AARP, Valpak, and Uncle Bobâ€˜s Self Storage. Locally, Associated Churches Neighborhood Food Network and United Way of Allen County are working with the letter carriers.