FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2017 (Sioux Falls, SD) ― Saturday, May 13th marks the 25th anniversary of one of America’s great days of giving— the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect non-perishable food donations. These donations go directly to local food pantries to provide food to people in need, and there are many in the Sioux Empire who need our help.
“Last year, nearly 78,000 pounds of food was collected in Sioux Falls,” said Jennifer Stensaas, Development Associate with Feeding South Dakota. “We’re hoping to surpass that number this year with 85,000 pounds.”
In the days leading up to the food drive, a shopping bag and postcard will be delivered to mailboxes, asking community members to participate in the annual food drive. The postcard encourages residents to leave non-perishable food items in a bag by the mailbox to help neighbors in need.
All of the food items collected locally in Sioux Falls will be donated to Feeding South Dakota, who will use these food items to stock the Sioux Falls Food Pantry’s shelves. “With the increasing need at the food pantry, food drives like this one help make sure we can keep our shelves full throughout the year. On average, we serve 75-100 families each day and distribute 145,000 lbs of food per month, which wouldn’t be possible without the help of organizations like the NALC. We are very fortunate to live in such a supportive community,” said Matt Gassen, CEO for Feeding South Dakota.
Over the last 24 national food drives, letter carriers have collected more than 1.5 billion pounds of food, helped by untold thousands of fellow postal employees, retired letter carriers, family members and friends. The food is then distributed to local food pantries within the same communities where it was collected.
Thanks to Hy-Vee Corporate, each home in the Sioux Empire will receive a shopping bag, serving as a reminder to place items outside on the May 13th pick-up date.
The need for food donations is great. Currently in South Dakota, 1 in 8 individuals are food insecure. Children in these households feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school.
The timing of the NALC’s food drive is pivotal, as well. Food banks and pantries often receive the majority of donations during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available. Some of the most needed items at the Food Pantry include whole grain cereals, proteins like peanut butter and canned meats, boxed dinners (hamburger helper, chicken helper, etc.), canned fruits and vegetables, and pasta.
Participating in this year’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, and helping our local community members, is simple. Leave non-perishable food donations in a bag by your mailbox the morning of Saturday, May 13th and a letter carrier will pick it up. Otherwise, residents are always welcome to drop off donations at Feeding South Dakota.
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About Feeding South Dakota
Feeding South Dakota is the state’s largest charitable hunger relief organization whose mission is to eliminate hunger in South Dakota with distribution centers in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City. In 2016, Feeding South Dakota secured and distributed over 13.5 million pounds of quality nutritious donated and purchased food providing 11.3 million meals to individuals in need. Feeding South Dakota is able to distribute this food through its network of over 350 charitable organizations across the state. These organizations then provide this food to individuals who are “food insecure” through youth programs, senior centers, on-site feeding programs, emergency food pantries, after school programs, and homeless shelters. For more information on Feeding South Dakota, please visit www.feedingsouthdakota.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
About the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)
The National Association of Letter Carriers is the union of city delivery letter carriers working for the United States Postal Service founded in 1889. Today, the NALC maintains its tradition as a vibrant union of over 300,000 members in all 50 states and other U.S. jurisdictions. For more information, visit http://nalc.org/commun/foodrive/index.html.
Feeding South Dakota Contact
605.335.0364, ext. 108