Postal service food drive set for Saturday

Published 3:13 pm Wednesday, May 11, 2011

With the state of the economy, stocks in food banks are low. The United States Postal Service Letter Carriers will do their part to restock those food banks with the Annual Food Drive on Saturday.

Non-perishable foods can be placed in a bag and left to be picked up by the carriers when they deliver the mail for that day. Food may also be bagged and brought to the Post Office.

Postal service spokesman Joseph Breckenridge said that these foods will benefit those Americans who would otherwise go hungry or suffer from poor nutrition, especially the children and the elderly.

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“Non-perishable food items like canned meats and fish, soup, and beans are suggested as well as peanut butter, juice, pasta, canned vegetables, cereal, and rice. Food Drive organizers ask that glass containers and items beyond their expiration dates not be included in donations,” Breckenridge said.

The 18 previous USPS Employee Food Drives collected over one billion pounds of food. The food drive in 2010 collected a record 77.1 million pounds,” he added. “Why is a food drive necessary? These are some of the reasons.”

• 49.1 million Americans live in food-insecure households. Food insecurity means not knowing where the next wholesome meal will come from. These nearly 50 million Americans represent the largest increase reported in history, an increase of 14 million.

• 17.2 million are children The number of children living in food-insecure households has increased by 35%. Food insecurity is associated with poor performance in school, behavioral problems, and poor health.

• 2.5 million are seniors over age 65 Americans in food-insecure households have had to decide between paying for food and paying for medicine — an increase of 7% are seniors.

• Last year 4.8 million needy households received emergency food from a food bank or pantry. The food letter carriers collect builds depleted stocks during summer months when school is out and free breakfasts and lunches are not available to many children.