People in West Alabama will soon receive the familiar bags in their mailboxes signifying the 22nd annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

Bags will begin arriving in our area Monday, May 5th. Then, on Saturday, May 10th Letter carriers will pick up the bags filled with canned and non-perishable food items and deliver them to local food banks and pantries.

Letter carriers walk through our community every day, often coming face to face with the sad reality of families and children facing hunger. To combat hunger, letter carriers collect donations on the second Saturday in May each year. These donations go directly to local food pantries to help the hungry throughout West Alabama.

Last year, the letter carriers collected more than 74 million pounds of food nationally, feeding an estimated 30 million people. In West Alabama, more than 50,000 pounds of food was collected and 10 pantries benefited from the donations including West Alabama Food Bank, Pickens County Baptist Association, Bibb County DHR, Salvation Army, Christian Center of Concern, Children of the Village Network, Matt Miller Food Pantry and local church food banks.

The need for food donation is great. Currently, 49 million Americans –1 in 6—are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Sixteen million are children who feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school. And nearly million seniors over the age 60 are food insecure, with many who live on fixed incomes often too embarrassed to ask for help.

United Way of West Alabama will partner with letter carriers during this critical time for food donations. Food banks and pantries often receive the majority of donations during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. By spring, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need.

United Way of West Alabama asks that everyone who can participate in this year’s Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. It’s simple. Just leave a non-perishable food donation in a bag by your mailbox on Saturday, May 10th and your letter carrier will do the rest.