Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive returns on Saturday, May 13

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive returns on Saturday, May 13
Island Harvest Food Bank and the National Association of Letter Carriers urges residents to leave a bag of non-perishable food near their mailbox on Saturday, May 13, to help Long Islanders struggling with hunger and food insecurity. Photo courtesy of NALC.

Island Harvest Food Bank, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and the United States Postal Service (USPS) are pleased to announce the return of the annual Stamp Out Hunger, the nation’s most extensive one-day food collection campaign. This year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive is on Saturday, May 13, and all food collected in Nassau and Suffolk counties will benefit Island Harvest in providing much-needed supplemental food support to more than 300,000 Long Islanders who face hunger and food insecurity, including nearly one-third who are children.

“Participating in Stamp Out Hunger is easy,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest. “Generous Long Islanders are encouraged to leave non-perishable food items in a bag next to their mailbox before the regularly scheduled mail delivery on Saturday, May 13. Then, your USPS letter carrier will do the rest to help make sure that no one on Long Island goes hungry.”

Non-perishable food items to be donated include canned goods, cereal, pasta, rice, boxed juices and shelf-stable milk (please, no food or juices in glass containers). In addition, personal care items such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant and disposable diapers are accepted. All goods donated on Long Island will help replenish Island Harvest’s network of food pantries, soup kitchens and other emergency feeding programs in communities throughout Long Island.

“Every donation, no matter how small, helps our neighbors who are in the unenviable position of choosing between paying for such things as housing, transportation, and medicine or putting food on the table,” said Ms. Shubin Dresner. “I am confident that the past generosity displayed by our Long Island neighbors will help make this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive one of the most successful.”

Due to the pandemic, the Stamp Out Hunger food collection was temporarily discontinued in 2020.

Since its inception in 1993, Stamp Out Hunger has collected more than 1.75 billion pounds of food in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands to help address the issue of hunger in America. On Long Island, Stamp Out Hunger brought in over 519,000 pounds of food in 2019 before the event was temporarily suspended from 2020 through 2022 due to the pandemic.

“The National Association of Letter Carriers and the men and women we represent on Long Island are pleased to once again partner with Island Harvest in this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food collection,” said Tom Siesto, first vice president, NALC Branch 6000. “Our carriers often see firsthand the pervasive issue of hunger as part of their daily rounds, and they are eager to help give back to the community and assist in helping Island Harvest Food Bank tackle this important issue.”

This year’s major sponsoring partners with Island Harvest on the NALC Stamp Out Hunger collection campaign include National Grid, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Amazon, Allstate, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Catholic Health, Nonna’s Garden, Long Island Federation of Labor, MCN Distributors, Dime Community Bank and New York Community Bank. All donations to Stamp Out Hunger are tax-deductible because all the food collected benefits Island Harvest, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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    In these distressing times, our companion animals so often are left by the wayside. Those of us who can are needed to be their voice.

    A staggering number of cats, dogs and other companion animals are being brought to shelters. Even worse, pets are being left behind, abandoned due to the overwhelming effects of inflation and the rising costs to pay for food, medicine, and healthcare. The scarcity of Pet Friendly housing adds significantly to this tragic situation.

    People are being uprooted, experiencing job loss, some becoming homeless, they no longer can afford the cost of housing. They live the heart-wrenching reality of having no choice but to give up their beloved pets. They cannot afford to care for them any longer. In this country, it should never have come to this. Think about the heartbreak from the animal’s perspective. They do not understand why their people are giving them up.

    There are so few rental apartments, co-ops and condos that are Pet Friendly. Long Islanders must urge landlords, residential building owners and co-op and condo boards to accept companion animals in apartment buildings. Have incentives for those buildings that welcome pets.

    A powerful friend to animals is Sandra Atlas Bass, Sol G. Atlas Realty Co., Inc. For decades Sandra Bass has made all her apartment buildings Pet Friendly, and does not charge additional fees for pets. Building owners are needed to follow her lead.

    Animal Rescue shelters are overwhelmed due to disasters and war torn areas throughout the world. Many are going above and beyond to rescue animals and bring them to safety. Burdened financially, having limited space, they need a tremendous amount of assistance. The animals they rescue need homes.

    Local officials including town mayors and supervisors, county executives, council and assembly members, and state senators must be called upon to advocate for animals.

    Encourage your local village halls, libraries, food markets and places of worship to have pet food bins to help those in need to feed their companion animals. Imagine having to part with your pet because you cannot afford to feed them.

    Create a community that can change the landscape for companion animals. Be a champion for buildings that welcome pets, and advocate for pet food bins to be placed in our communities. Help dogs, cats, and other companion animals to stay with their families, and more rescues to be adopted.

    Express your comments to your local papers. Mention your pet friendly building, or if you would like your building to be pet friendly.

    Mahatma Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

    If you are fortunate, open your heart and home to share your life with a companion animal. They truly are family. They save lives in countless ways.

    Gary Feldman
    Food, Health, Environment Instructor/Writer
    [email protected]


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