230,000 letter carriers across America not only delivered the mail Saturday, they also picked up food to Stamp Out Hunger.
This is the 19th year for the event, Stamp Out Hunger, and it's the nation's largest single-day food drive. Organizers hoped to exceed last year's record-setting total of 77.1 million pounds of donated food. The letter carriers collected non-perishable food items like soup, canned vegetables and fruits, pasta, cereal and rice for food banks. "We've had so many volunteers this year, probably more than I've seen in a long time, Jefferson City letter carrier Miranda Carter said. The local churches, Samaritan Center, we've all pulled together and worked as a team and we've accomplished getting a very good amount of food so far." The food bank for central and northeast Missouri distributes free food to 126 elementary schools through the Buddy Pack Program, a weekend food service. They also help 135 hunger-relief agencies, such as food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters The network helps to feed nearly 97,000 people per month in 32 counties in central and northeast Missouri. "Even a dollar or a can of food is more than we had before, executive director of the Food Bank for central and northeast Missouri Peggy Kirkpatrick said. The hope is that any food and any money that is collected now will help the pantries right here in Jefferson City get through the summer months or a good part of them." According to U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of hungry Americans increased to more than 50 million in 2009. Of those Americans, nearly one in three is a child.