Your chance to help ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ in Rowan
By Ronnie Bailey
For the Salisbury Post
On Saturday (May 10), letter carriers in Salisbury, Spencer and China Grove will be delivering more than mail. They will be participating in the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) “Stamp Out Hunger!” food drive. Now in its 16th year, it is the nation’s largest single-day food drive, having collected more than 863 million pounds of food nationally since its beginning in 1993.
Last year, letter carriers and volunteers in Rowan County collected more than 14,000 pounds of food. This figure was 6,000 pounds less than the 20,000 collected in 2006. If you have a Salisbury, Spencer or China Grove address, simply leave a sturdy bag containing nonperishable foods ó such as canned soup, canned vegetables, pasta, rice or cereal ó at your mailbox before the time of regular mail delivery on May 10. Food items should be in nonbreakable containers, such as boxes and cans. The carriers and volunteers will collect the donations from postal customers and deliver them to Rowan Helping Ministries and the Salvation Army in Salisbury and Main Street Missions in China Grove.
Customers who have rural mailboxes are asked to place their donations either in the box with the flag up or hang their donation on the box to make it easier for rural carriers to collect donated food. It is very difficult for rural carriers to get items placed on the ground.
Local NALC Branch 934 is sponsoring a contest this year to help increase donations. Church groups are encouraged to bring items they have collected to the Salisbury Post Office loading dock off Martin Luther King Avenue between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The group that brings the largest amount of food by weight wins $125. The second largest amount wins $100, and the third largest wins $75.
Food banks are notoriously bare during summer months, as most food drives are conducted during the holidays, and those donated goods are distributed throughout the spring. Summer donations are also critical because many hungry children no longer have the benefit of a school lunch program.
For more information about the “Stamp out Hunger!” effort, ask you letter carrier, contact your post office or visit www.helpstampouthunger.com.
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Ronnie Bailey is the food drive coordinator for NALC Branch 934.