INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – Stamp Out Hunger is in its l9th year and will be held on Saturday, May l4. Started by the National Association of Letter Carriers, it is the largest one-day food drive in the country.
Area residents are asked to donate by putting non-perishable food items except glass in a bag near their mailbox before normal delivery time on May 14.
Postcards and Publix bags will be delivered to homes to remind people to participate in the drive.
Letter carriers and volunteers will be collecting the donations and bringing them to the Main Street Post Office in Sebastian. A host of volunteers will divide the goods that will be distributed to four area food missions, including The River Fund’s Feed Everyone Program, the Lord’s Table Soup Kitchen, the Ecumenical Council Food Pantry and Abiding Presence, formerly Faith Ministries.
Examples of non-perishable items include canned soup, meats and fish, canned vegetables, fruits and juices, boxed goods such as cereal, pasta and rice.
This year, several new groups have joined to help with the efforts. Kashi School of Yoga teachers and volunteers will be sorting food donations.
Members of the Vero Beach High School Fighting Indians football team will be putting their muscles to work by loading and unloading the boxes of food onto trucks and into the pantry storage areas.
Indian River Charter High School students will be lending a helping hand again this year along with local residents who come back year after year to serve.
Local artist Michelle Effron has donated her services to design a logo for the Sebastian volunteer T-shirt fundraiser.
A recent survey conducted by Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger relief organization, found that nearly half (46 percent) of households reported having to choose between paying a utility bill or purchasing food. This years’ goal is to provide assistance to millions of families struggling to put food on their tables every day.
Last year the Stamp Out Hunger food drive collected a record 77.1 million pounds of food donations, bringing the 18-year total to more than one billion pounds of food. Locally in Sebastian, volunteers collected more than 40,485 pounds of food, which translates into approximately 31,142 meals collected.
“As letter carriers, we see people on our routes six days a week that must rely on the generosity and assistance of others to help provide something as basic as a meal. We’re proud to have established a program that truly provides assistance in every community across the country,” said NALC President Fredric V. Rolando. Campbell Soup Company will again donate one pound of food (up to one million pounds) to the Feeding America food bank network for every person who joins the Stamp Out Hunger Cause on Facebook, visit www.Facebook.com/StampOutHunger.
Locally, Sebastian Office Supply, Hogan & Sons, Mo Bay Grill, The River Grille, Vic’s ltalian Restaurant, Woody’s BBQ, Stone Creek Pizza, Island’s Flava, Danny’s Pizza, Aunt Louise’s Pizza , JP Matty’s, McDonald’s & Kentucky Fried Chicken, have committed their support and more businesses are expected to join in, as well. Many of these restaurants keep the volunteers well-fed and energized during the days’ long events.
For more information, to volunteer or donate, please call 772-589-2636, ask your letter carrier or local post office representative or visit www.helpstampouthunger.com.