Since 1993, letter carriers in central and western Oklahoma have collected more than 3.5 million pounds of food to feed the hungry. Last year, we collected more than 916,000 pounds.
On Saturday, help your letter carrier “Stamp Out Hunger” by leaving nonperishable food donations by your mailbox. All donations benefit the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and its partner agencies throughout central and western Oklahoma. This effort is part of the 20th annual letter carriers food drive, the largest one-day food drive in America.
More than 675,000 Oklahomans are at risk of hunger every day. Letter carriers see the faces of hunger up close and personal. We're often among the first to know when a family is struggling to make ends meet. We deliver the past-due and cutoff notices to neighborhoods that have families who are struggling to make ends meet.
The faces of hunger aren't just the poor and the homeless. The majority of those served by the Regional Food Bank are the working poor, seniors living on fixed incomes and children. Many working parents find themselves living paycheck to paycheck and have to make difficult decisions about whether to pay their bills or put food on the table.
With one in four Oklahoma children going to bed hungry every night, we can't afford to sit idly by. If children don't eat, they can't function cognitively, behaviorally or socially — and that puts the future of our state and country at risk.
The letter carriers food drive is successful because of its simplicity. All we ask is that you put nonperishable food items in a plastic bag and place it by your mailbox by 7 a.m. Saturday. Most needed are canned meats, vegetables and fruits, packaged meals and peanut butter. Your letter carrier will pick up your donations and take them to the post office, where the food will be sorted and delivered to the Regional Food Bank and partner agencies.
Letter carriers are supported in this humanitarian endeavor by the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, the United Way, Campbell's Soup Company, Valpak, the AFL-CIO, Feeding America and most importantly, the U.S. Postal Service.
Every can donated makes a difference in the lives of those who are struggling with hunger. Thank you for your support in helping us “Stamp Out Hunger” in Oklahoma!
Bryant is Oklahoma City postmaster. Riggs is past president of the Oklahoma City branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers.