Editorial: High food prices taking a toll
The United States isn’t seeing the food riots that have erupted in Haiti, Malaysia, Afghanistan and more than a dozen other counties around the globe. But record high food prices are having an impact here as well, especially among those who were already struggling to make ends meet.
Confronted with the possibility of $4-a-gallon gasoline, people may find ways to drive less and walk more. But how are struggling families supposed to cope with $4-a-gallon milk, along with surging costs for other basic staples, coupled with increases in utility bills and medical care? A lot of people are having a tough time, and many of them are here in Rowan County. At Rowan Helping Ministries, for instance, the food pantry has seen a significant increase in the number of people requesting food assistance. One a recent Monday, 75 families sought help, up from the 40-45 daily requests that were coming in previously.
This Saturday, you can help make sure the pantry shelves stay stocked by participating in the National Association of Letter Carriers’ “Stamp Out Hunger!” food drive. This annual nationwide event is the largest single-day food drive in the country, and organizers say it is especially important this year to collect as much food as possible. Locally, the drive is sponsored by NALC Branch 934, and here’s how it works:
If you have a Salisbury, Spencer or China Grove address, leave a sturdy bag containing nonperishable foods at your mailbox before Saturday’s regular mail delivery. Customers with rural boxes should leave the bag inside the box or hang it from the side, if possible. Food pantries can use a variety of packaged nonperishable items such as pasta, rice, macaroni, peanut butter, jelly, canned meats, soup, vegetables and cereal.
After collecting the donations, mail carriers and volunteers will deliver the bounty to Rowan Helping Ministries, the Salvation Army and Main Street Missions in China Grove.
During last year’s drive, donations were down 6,000 pounds from the 20,000 pounds collected in 2006. Organizers hope to reverse that decline and make this a record year for the drive. With enough people’s help, they should be able to deliver on that goal.
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