by Helena Cappon
OUR WORLD — Through wind, snow, rain and shine, the United States Postal Service letter carriers never stop. These folks take it one step further annually with the country’s largest one day food drive, “Stamp out Hunger.”
On May 14, letter carriers across the United States will pick up any non-perishable food items like cans, pasta, rice, beans, etc. right from residents’ front porches and mail boxes whether they live in a rural area or a big city.
Air Force and Letter Carrier Veteran Bob Beckart worked for the USPS for 21 years from Alaska, to Pueblo, to Trinidad. While in Pueblo, he was vice president of the union for four years and orchestrated “Stamp out Hunger.” Beckhart retired in 2018, but has returned this year to volunteer coordinate the food drive for Trinidad. Considering that the COVID-19 pandemic put this essential operation on hold for two years, it is a timely reminder for those who want an easy way to help to put out their dry and canned foods on Saturday, May 14. As elaborated by the United States Postal Service, over 45 million Americans experience food insecurity, making this event all the more imperative for communities across the country.
Beckhart describes the Stamp out Hunger Food Drive in Pueblo, reminiscing on the thousands of pounds of food they would collect every year; their largest year weighed in at about 45,000 lbs. Since “Stamp out Hunger” started in 1983, the entire country has been able to collect 1.82 billion pounds of food. Beckhart continues on to explain that the donations from this food drive can supply food up to November, and that the food collected in each community stays in that community to benefit that area’s food banks, soup kitchens and more.
Make sure the calendar is marked for May 14 to put out your non-perishable food items wherever you collect mail, whether that be a mailbox or front porch.
In Walsenburg, Post Master Mike Santistevan welcomes folks to bring donations to the counter at the Post Office during business hours the week leading up to May 14 as well.
Help the National Association of Letter Carriers bring back this vital food drive in a big way, and donate what you can.