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At The Mailbox This Saturday

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In The Extension Of A Tradition Began Nearly 40 Years Ago In The Phoenix Metro, Letter Carriers Across The Country Will Collect Food Left At Post Boxes On May 10

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By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine

May 9, 2014 — More than 5,000 letter carriers will spread out in the Phoenix metro Saturday, May 10 on their regular routes. But on this day, they will not merely be collecting letters and packages, but also nearly a million tons of food for local food banks.

The letter carriers encourage nonperishable food to be placed into any type of grocery bag and left by their mailboxes. Items most needed by the food banks include canned fruit and vegetables, soups and meals in a can, pasta, peanut butter, tuna, rice and cereal. The letter carriers will provide the food items to local food banks. Eventually, the food will get to the one in five Arizonans – and one in four children – dealing with hunger issues in the state.

The first “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive happened in Phoenix in 1976 when letter carriers from NALC Branch 576 picked up food donations in their own trucks. In 2012, more than 2 million pounds of food was collected across Arizona.

The effort has also evolved into a national effort that has collected more than a billion pounds over the last two decades for Americans suffering from food insecurity. More than 200,000 letter carriers will gather food items this Saturday.

According to the organizers of this year’s event, it is being held in early summer this year — many times it is held in the fall — because food demand increases with children out of school, and with many residents escaping to cooler climates.

“With 28 percent of Arizona children living in poverty, and tough economic times challenging the community further, Arizona Food Banks rely on ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ to provide that much-needed influx of food. St. Mary’s distributes more than 40,000 emergency food boxes each month, as well as providing food to the 300-plus agency partners it serves,” according to a news release from St. Mary’s Food Bank.

For more information on this event visit www.helpstampouthunger.com.
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