The annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive to Stamp Out Hunger will be held on Saturday, May 14. Put your non-perishable donation in a bag by your mailbox, and your letter carrier will pick it up.
The food collected will be divided up among local food pantries.
One local food distributor looking forward to the drive is the Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative’s Friendship Center food pantry at 43 Eagle St. in North Adams.
At the April Interfaith Action Initiative meeting, local letter carrier and Initiative supporter Dick Dassatti discussed the drive with the Friendship Center food pantry leadership team, representatives of other Northern Berkshire food pantries and staff from the Berkshire Community Action Council. We went over how the food will be collected and how it will be equitably divided between pantries.
Nourishing non-perishable foods are needed. In its first nine weeks of operation, the Friendship Center has served 27, 14, 36, 21, 65, 53, 55, 49, and 62 households. We now have more than 200 member families, mainly in North Adams, and we expect this number to keep growing.
The need is enormous. Recent Department of Agriculture statistics measuring hunger in the United States show that the number of Americans living in homes lacking sufficient food topped 50 million in 2009 with one in three of those—17.2 million—a child.
Items most helpful and nutritious for those served by food pantries include: Fruit juice, juice boxes, cold cereals, hot cereals, macaroni and cheese, baked beans or pork and beans, canned beef stew, canned pasta (Ravioli, etc), peanut butter, jelly, canned fruit, rice, canned or instant potatos, Bisquick/pancake mix and syrup, coffee and tea, soups, tuna, canned meats, packaged food (such as Rice-a-Roni, Lipton’s, etc.), spaghetti sauce, pasta, canned vegetables, condiments (such as ketchup, mayo, mustard, etc), cake mix, brownie mix, puddings and powdered milk.
Also needed are such things as baby food and formula, disposable diapers, shampoo, tooth paste, paper goods and toilet paper.
For more information, visit the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Food Drive website at www.nalc.org.
Two things Almost go without saying. One is that we will need plent of volunteer power to sort through all this food. Second, you will be seeing and hearing more about this here and elsewhere in the coming three weeks.
God bless all of you,