Letter carriers stamp out hunger

Since 1993, letter carriers in central and western Oklahoma have collected more than 8 million pounds of food – the equivalent of more than 6.7 million meals — to feed our hungry neighbors. Canned food donations are needed to restock the shelves more than ever before.

In Altus donations benefit Southwest OK Community Action in Altus. The demand for food assistance typically goes up during the summer months when children are out of school and don’t have access to school meals.

This year, the demand has spiked even earlier due to the downturn in the energy sector and the residual effects of the state’s budget crisis. Help your letter carrier “Stamp Out Hunger” by leaving a plastic bag filled with canned food donations by your mailbox Saturday, May 14. This effort is part of the 24th annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive, the largest one-day food drive in America.

If you donated last year, we hope you will add a few more cans to your donation bag this year to make up for those who are no longer able to donate due to job loss or illness. And, while you may not think a few cans of food can make much of a difference, to the parent without any food in his or her pantry, it can be the difference between feeding children and sending them to bed hungry.

Most needed items include peanut butter, canned meats, vegetables and fruit. Your letter carrier will deliver a plastic bag to your mailbox this week. Simply leave the bag you receive this week (or any plastic bag) filled with canned food by your mailbox Saturday morning and your letter carrier will do the rest.

The United States Postal Service fully supports the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive and is committed to assisting the letter carriers in this great endeavor. As letter carriers, we are honored to have this opportunity to help feed our hungry Oklahoma neighbors.

The majority of those served by the Regional Food Bank are the working poor, seniors living on fixed incomes and children. Many find themselves living paycheck to paycheck and have to make difficult decisions about whether to pay their bills or put food on the table.

With your support, the Regional Food Bank can continue to provide enough food to feed more than 116,000 Oklahomans every week. Without your support, children, families and seniors will go hungry.

When you fill your plastic bag May 14, you will be changing faces of hunger into faces of hope. If you prefer to make a financial contribution to the Regional Food Bank, visit www.feedinghope.org. Every dollar donated provides the equivalent of five meals.

Letter carriers are supported in this humanitarian endeavor by the National Association of Letter Carriers, National Rural Letter Carriers Association, the United Way, Valpak, the AFL-CIO, and most importantly of all, the United States Postal Service.

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