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Nonperishable donations being sought for Stamp Out Hunger food drive

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — There is always a need for area food banks. This Saturday, residents can help by leaving nonperishable items by their mailbox for the Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

Stamp Out Hunger is the nation’s largest single-day food drive and is held annually on the second Saturday in May. Food Lion has provided bags to hold donated items such as canned soup, canned vegetables, pasta, peanut butter, rice or cereal.

“This started 25 years ago with some letter carriers to help stock food banks during the summer,” said Kim Lane, chairwoman for the local U.S. Postal Service.

Lane said the food drive is a way to fill the void for children who usually get regular meals through the school lunch program. Their families may find themselves visiting a food bank during the summer.

“It gives them a head start on summer,” Lane said of the food pantries.

Food Lion Feeds has partnered with the National Association of Letter Carriers, the Postal Service, and food banks in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, North Carolina and South Carolina to support the food drive.

Throughout the week, Food Lion will help kick off the drive in each state by donating more than 70,000 meals to local food agencies. This is the first year that Food Lion has added both North Carolina and South Carolina households to its annual Stamp Out for Hunger effort.

Lane said both city and rural letter carriers will collect the donated food, but she noted that rural carriers will do so at their own expense and using their own vehicles. In order to help carriers gather the items quickly, organizers ask that donations be placed inside mailboxes. Larger donations should be placed as close to the mailbox as possible.

Anyone who is unsure where to leave donations should ask his letter carrier, especially people who live in apartments, Lane said.

Last year, Lane said, a woman donated a caseload of food because she had previously received food that was collected through the drive. The woman has three children and had lost her job, but she still donated.
“As a grocer working to combat hunger, we know there are families in our communities who are making tough choices to put food on their tables,” said Christy Phillips-Brown, a spokeswoman for Food Lion. “That’s why we are so thankful for hunger-relief campaigns like Stamp Out Hunger that help us collect and deliver food to those families that need it the most. We could not do this without help from the National Association of Letter Carriers and the United States Postal Service.”

“Too many people in this country are going hungry,” NALC President Fredric Rolando added. “We know this to be true because we see it as we deliver to every address in America at least six days a week.”

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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