The 19th annual Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive will be held again on the second Saturday in May—this year, on May 14—local letter carriers in 10,000 cities will help stock community food banks, pantries and shelters for the summer months.
To help paint a picture of what’s at stake for this year’s drive, NALC President Fredric V. Rolando pointed to recent Department of Agriculture statistics measuring hunger in the United States. “Those figures show that the number of Americans living in homes lacking sufficient food topped 50 million in 2009,” Rolando said, “with one in three of those—17.2 million—a child.
Sadly, Arkansas is the hungriest state in our nation. Please join me in donating a large, sturdy bag of non-perishable food items at your mailbox on May 14th. Note: Please check the expiration dates…if your family won’t eat it because it is expired, neither will those you are helping. Food banks throw away expired food just like you do. You would be amazed at what I have seen donated at our local food drives.
This is a passion of mine. I serve the Food Bank of NEA in several capacities, and I will be there working in the warehouse on May 14th as the food is brought in on the mail trucks. Come join me if you are in my area and whether you are here or there….be sure to see if your city is participating and leave a sack of food at your mailbox!
I love my little foodie (this is a few weeks old…the paci is a thing of the past now)! I can’t imagine not being able to feed him when he is hungry. I can’t imagine not knowing where his next meal will come from. I can’t imagine not being able to grab a cheese cracker or an animal cracker out of his bag in order to get him quiet while doing our weekly grocery shopping. I can’t imagine not being able to pour juice/milk in his sippie cup when he yells and reaches out saying “Juice” 50 times a day! I surely can’t imagine sending him to bed hungry and knowing there was nothing I could do about it.
In our society I know we get cynical about this at times because of the abuse of WIC and Food Stamps by people who drive nicer cars than those of us who work hard to pay cash for our store brand groceries and formula. I have witnessed it time and time again and know people personally who have abused it. It is irritating, I know. Yet there are people who could loose it all today and not have that assistance. So many people are one pay check away from going under. I have seen it with my own eyes at the food bank and it has taught me a lot about judging by appearance.
A mother of two young boys drove up to the food bank on a Friday afternoon in a cute little workout outfit in her SUV with an expressionless face. She left the boys in the car because I am sure she did not want them to know where she was and what she was having to do…but they knew. Kids know. I was on a ladder throwing away expired green beans watching with a birdseye view. I stared because I was in awe and I was beginning to pass judgement ( like I do when the skinny little thing with designer jeans, fresh highlights, nails, and a designer purse whips out her WIC in front of me at the store…while I look like white trash…come on, you know what I am talking about!) in my head when I watched her whisper with embarrassment to the lady up front.
She stood tapping her foot staring out the window at her car. About 2 minutes later a man from the back followed her out to her SUV with emergency assistance (food) for the weekend. Since that moment I have been a changed woman and a better volunteer. I cried. Did her husband leave, did her husband loose his job and she is a stay at home mom and has no family near by to call on for help, did they have more bills than they had resources that week….who knows, but it happened. It happens every week and I want to know I am helping people like that lady because that could be any of us some day and she had two little foodies in her SUV needing their afternoon “juice”.
The food bank in your area serves the local food pantries at churches, etc. Food banks generally refer people who come for assistance to one of the local food pantries, but sometimes it is too late in the day or the need is too great at the time, so they too have emergency assistance on hand for those in need….a little food for thought! So, what your church pantry lacks in congregation donations….the food bank takes up the slack.
Happy Food Friday…
Go get your donations ready and help the hungry!