Saturday, May 14, 2011, is the annual “Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive” sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers. The idea is simple (you may have already received a post-card from your local post office announcing it). People are asked to place non-perishable food items by their mail box and the mail carrier picks them up as he/she does their route. The food items are brought back to the post office and volunteers from local food banks sort and collect the food. The food items are then brought to the local food pantries for distribution to those in need. This is the largest, single day food drive in the country and food pantries nationwide are able to stock up for the long summer months ahead because of it.
As a member of the St. Vincent De Paul Society for almost 20 years I have been blessed with having the opportunity to participate in this annual event for many years. We have our own food pantry and over the course of each year our pantry alone gives food and sundry items to literally thousands of men, women and children. All of the items we distribute are donated coming from regular folks in the neighborhood. Every year the Post Office drive carries us through the entire summer.
Okay–here is the point and I am zeroing in on parents of grade school kids. Volunteers are always needed to assist in receiving and sorting the collected food items. Nothing is so fulfilling as giving of oneself to help the less fortunate. In today’s society, self-gratification seems to be often times pedestalized. This is an opportunity to spend a few hours on a Saturday afternoon helping other folks who are your neighbors participate in working together to help the less fortunate. You might consider calling your local post office and asking how you can participate or call one of your local food banks. Your church might have its own food pantry that gets food from the drive. Exposing your kids to this type of environment teaches how great it can be to GIVE of themselves. They would not only be helping to feed others they would also be feeding their hearts.