You may have gotten a special delivery in your mailbox this week, in the form of a postcard from the postal system and a plastic bag. These items are in effort to feed the hungry. On Saturday, May 12, leave that bag in your mailbox, with a few non-perishable items of food inside. If you haven’t gotten a free plastic bag, use one of your own. If you are like me, you likely have purchased canned goods when they are on sale and have a few kinds of beans, peas, corn and carrots to spare. Maybe you you stocked up on boxes of rice or pasta and can share one. Macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, refried beans, ravioli? Give an item or two to “Stamp out Hunger.”

Here’s the official word:

The National Association of Letter Carriers’ annual Food Drive to “Stamp out Hunger” will be held Saturday, May 12. On that day, letter carriers will collect non-perishable foods such as canned goods, snacks or microwaveable items that community members place next to their mailboxes for donation.

It’s our 20th anniversary,” NALC President Fredric Rolando noted. “For two decades now, our annual national drive has proved critical in helping millions of American families—our customers—who are struggling to make ends meet during this continuing recession.

Each year, the second Saturday in May is a day when all citizens have an opportunity, with the help of their letter carrier, to easily donate food to needy families in their community,” he said.

The drive, the largest one-day food-collection event in the nation, has been a success every year, Rolando said, but the needs are particularly sad, even staggering, in 2012.

Sixteen percent of all Americans are at risk of hunger—uncertain where their next meal may be coming from. That includes one in five children under the age of 18, plus four million seniors who are forced every day to choose between paying a utility bill and buying food,” he said.

Last year, despite many obstacles, letter carriers proudly collected 70.2 million pounds of food, raising the total amount of donations picked up over the history of the drive to more than 1.1 billion pounds,” Rolando said. “With help from our brothers and sisters in the rural craft, alongside other postal employees and volunteers, letter carriers will do what we can again this year to help all Americans.”

The NALC hopes to set a record in donations this year with its support from the United Way and other sponsors throughout the country.

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