News release from the United Way of Allen County:
Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Set For May 11th
Abbett Elementary Wins School Food Drive Competition for Fifth Consecutive Year
(May 8, 2013) – At a news conference held today at Abbett Elementary, students, letter carriers and United Way challenged the community to make donations during this year’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive set for Saturday, May 11, 2013.
Abbett Elementary students made their contributions to the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive by competing with other local schools and winning the competition for the fifth consecutive year. For the competition, students collected more than 2,200 pounds of non-perishable food; overall for the 2012-2013 school year, they collected 3,643 pounds. Residents who want to donate to Stamp Out Hunger should place their donation of non-perishable items in a grocery bag next to their mailbox on Saturday, May 11.
Today, Mayor Tom Henry, Food Drive Chair Milton Gray, Associated Churches Executive Director Roger Reece, and United Way President/CEO Todd Stephenson presented students with the winning trophy. They increased donations by 800 pounds this year.
“Last year, the Fort Wayne-area had an increase of more than 200,000 lbs. of donated food from the previous year,” shared local food drive organizer Milton Gray. “I continue to be humbled by the generosity of our community and these students and I know we can surpass this level of donation again this year.”
“More than 80 food banks received contributions from the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive last year,” said Roger Reece, executive director of Associated Churches. “We need help to continue to serve the community and ensure our neighbors do not go hungry.”
“Enrollment continues to rise in our statewide food assistance program, SNAP,” said Todd Stephenson, president and CEO of United Way of Allen County. “One in five of our community’s children face hunger on a consistent basis. Contributions to the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive help relieve this distress and serve the common good.”
2013 marks the 21st annual National Association of Letter Carriers’ Food Drive to Stamp Out Hunger. This is the largest in the nation and is held 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. Last year, letter carriers collected 70.7 million pounds of food donations along their postal routes, bringing the total to 1.2 billion pounds for the NALC’s food drive, which began in 1992. Locally, the Fort Wayne-area collected 743,481 pounds of food
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 2012, Associated Churches served nearly 1.5 million meals to more than 98,000 individuals, a 9 percent increase from the previous year.
Assisting 1,600 local NALC branches were rural letter carriers and other postal employees, plus members of other unions and civic volunteers. Other national partners were Campbell Soup Co., the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, Valpak, the U.S. Postal Service, United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO and Uncle Bob’s Self Storage. Locally, Associated Churches Food Bank, Deister Machine Company, Kroger, NALC Branch 116, Port-A-Stor, Tri-State Trucking, Walgreen’s, and United Way of Allen County are partners in the effort.