William Lambers: Stamp Out Hunger Drive a chance to help community

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It was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who said, "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have little."

On Saturday, we get a chance to help those less fortunate with the National Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. It's the 26th year of the food drive sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers.

It's simple. Just leave canned goods or non-perishable food by your mailbox on Saturday morning. Spaghetti noodles, canned soup or canned vegetables, rice, peanut butter and other boxed foods are good for donations. Your letter carrier will pick up the food when dropping off your mail. Your donations will then be distributed to local food banks.

Our front line of defense against hunger in America is our system of food banks and pantries. These help families that are struggling to put food on the table. They provide a safety net to help people get through rough times.

Hunger in America is a silent crisis impacting about 41 million people.

Think of the family who is suffering through a medical crisis and may be forced to choose between buying food or medicine. Or they may have less time to work because of care giving for their ill family member. With less income, food may become much harder to obtain.

Think of the family whose breadwinner lost a job. The food bank is there to provide support so they don't have to worry about the family going hungry.

Think of the family that lost their home or business to a flood or tornado. The local food bank provides them with emergency rations. The Houston Food Bank, which aids victims of Hurricane Harvey, benefits from the Stamp Out Hunger Drive.

But during the spring and summer months the donations tend to go down as compared to the holiday season. The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is a great event to boost those donations at the right time.

If there are cuts by the government to the food stamp program, the food banks come under even more pressure to help those in need. They need every bit of help possible.

The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive offers an opportunity for everyone to take action against hunger and be a leader in their community.

Amanda Allen of Feeding America Southwest Virginia says, "Stamp Out Hunger is our biggest food drive of the year. We typically see 200,000-plus pounds of food from this drive. It is wonderful for us and we prepare extensively to handle this food."

The donations can help summer feeding, which is crucial because when class is out needy children lose access to free meals from the federal national school lunch and breakfast program. Summer feeding is needed to fill in the gaps when school is closed.

On Saturday May 12 you can make a big difference for a family in need by contributing to the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

William Lambers is an author who partnered with the UN World Food Program on the book Ending World Hunger. He writes on History News Network, the Hill and other news outlets. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.

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