JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville community rose to the occasion during the National Association of Letter Carriers “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive on Saturday, May 12 – donating nearly 258,000 pounds of much-needed nonperishable food resources for people in need on the First Coast.
Residents were asked to leave donations beside their mailboxes, and postal carriers collected them as part of their normal routes. The majority of the donations were delivered to Second Harvest North Florida, which will distribute the food to its network of more than 500 member agencies that include food pantries, senior citizen centers, soup kitchens and other nonprofit organizations serving people in need.
The 2012 total is a decrease of more than 25,000 pounds from 2011 but still represents the equivalent of nearly 215,000 meals that will be provided.
“Our community responded in a big way as it always does,” Second Harvest Executive Director Bruce Ganger said. “Hunger is a real issue, and it affects children, seniors, the unemployed, people that we know and see each day who go to work and just can’t make ends meet. Stamp Out Hunger is a way that anyone and everyone can contribute to caring for their neighbor in need. We at Second Harvest applaud the community’s generosity and promise that these donations will be put to use quickly to feed hungry families.”
In 2011, Second Harvest North Florida distributed more than 20 million pounds into 17 north Florida counties through its network of agencies. It is projected to distribute more than 24 million pounds in 2012 – which translates to more than 20 million meals.
Second Harvest has partnered locally with NALC Branch 53 throughout the history of the “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive, which celebrated its 20th year in 2012. Since 2008, more than 1.4 million pounds – or more than 1.2 million meals – have been created right here on the First Coast through your dedication. Nationally, more than a billion pounds of food have now been collected and distributed in the event’s history.
“As letter carriers deliver in the neighborhoods throughout the area, they see how the economy has adversely affected some of the customers they deliver to,” said Bob Henning, president of NALC Branch 53 in Jacksonville. “They also see how generous people can be when times are tough and how their customers that are in need benefit from this one-day nationwide drive. We thank everyone who donated to make this year the best ever to help those in need.”