In 2013, 49.1 million Americans, roughly 14 percent of households, were food insecure, according to Feeding America. On Saturday, May 9, Long Islanders have the chance to make the question, “What’s for dinner?,” a little easier for some of those households. U.S. Postal Service letter carriers will collect food when they deliver the mail on that Saturday in what is being called the nation’s largest food drive.
Stamp Out Hunger works like this: people around the country set out non-perishable food by their mailboxes on May 9. Letter carriers deliver the day’s mail, pick up the food and then deliver it to designated warehouses around the country where volunteers sort and deliver the food to food pantries and soup kitchens.
Island Harvest is the Long Island region’s sole recipient of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and the U.S. Postal Services “Stamp Out Hunger,” Food Drive. On Long Island, the food collected will go to Island Harvest’s network of 570 member agencies that support 316,000 Long Islanders each year.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to be working with the NALC and Island Harvest to help make a difference on Long Island,” Lorraine Castellano, district manager, Long Island, U.S. Postal Service said. “This year, we have 2,219 carrier routes that will be participating in the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive to benefit Island Harvest, an effort that will certainly touch many lives.”
Stamp Out Hunger began in 1992 and has collected more than 1.3 billion pounds of food in the past 24 years. Last year, Long Islanders donated more than 326,000 pounds of food and this year, Island Harvest expects a similar amount to be collected by letter carriers on 2,219 carrier routes across Long Island.
“This is it,” Dresner said. “The day to make a difference. If ever you’ve thought about helping your community, the time is now. Be a part of something big.”