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NM Takes Part in Nation's Largest Single-Day Food Drive

Letter carriers are collecting nonperishable food items this Saturday, May 13, in partnership with local food banks. (Defense.gov/Creative Commons)
Letter carriers are collecting nonperishable food items this Saturday, May 13, in partnership with local food banks. (Defense.gov/Creative Commons)
May 12, 2017

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – On Saturday, letter carriers are making the fight against hunger as easy as checking the mail. People can simply leave nonperishable food items in bags or boxes near their mailboxes for collection, and it will go to local groups who help those in need.

"Stamp Out Hunger" is the largest single-day food drive in the country.

Sonya Warwick, communications officer fo the Roadrunner Food Bank, says there are many who could benefit from these contributions, not only in the Albuquerque metro area that her group serves.

"So, New Mexico, because of our high poverty rates, tends to have high hunger rates as well, the two go hand-in-hand, of course," she explains. "And, according to the latest 'Map the Meal Gap' report, right now New Mexico is ranked second for childhood hunger among all states across the U.S., and seventh for overall hunger."

The National Association of Letter Carriers partners with local food banks such as Roadrunner for the food drive. And they're collecting food across New Mexico to help get it to families who aren't always sure where their next meal is coming from.

Stamp Out Hunger includes 10,000 hunger-relief organizations across the nation.

Roadrunner Food Bank is expecting to collect between 150,000-200,000 pounds of donated food.

With the largest concentration of hunger in New Mexico among children, Warwick says the timing of this drive is especially crucial.

"The hungriest time of year [is] during the summer," she adds. "That's because kiddos are out of school for the summer, and those who were counting on that free or reduced-lunch-cost breakfast or lunch don't have that meal."

This year is the 25th anniversary of the Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Bags for nonperishable food items have been distributed by letter carriers this week and will be collected on Saturday - although donations will be accepted in any type of bag or box.

Brett McPherson, Public News Service - NM