2nd Harvest, NALC partner to collect food on Saturday

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017

From Staff Reports

ALBANY — On Saturday, May 13, Second Harvest of South Georgia and the National Association of Letter Carriers join forces to participate in Stamp Out Hunger, the nation’s largest single-day food drive. This annual food drive, now in its 25th year, began as a regional effort and now is a nationwide event that provides assistance to millions of Americans struggling to put food on the table.
The problem of hunger is visible in all parts of South Georgia — where 1 in 4 struggle with hunger daily, including 1 in 3 children. Rates of hunger in South Georgia top the state, and parts of our area lead the nation in hunger among children.
Stamp Out Hunger makes it simple for people to help feed families and children in our community. Citizens can simply collect and bag non-perishable food items and leave the bags by their mailboxes. Letter carriers and Second Harvest will make sure that your donation gets to those in need. Event sponsors suggest that citizens donate such canned items like meat, fish, vegetables, or soup, and other nutritious shelf-stable items like peanut butter, rice, and beans.
Last year, the event collected approximately 200,000 pounds of non-perishable food across South Georgia. Donations collected by post offices are taken to the local Second Harvest branch to be inspected by trained staff and volunteers; each item is carefully checked for damage, expiration date, and recalls to ensure that every donation is absolutely safe. From there, donated food is distributed back into the county through Second Harvest’s eight Sumter County partner agencies including Harvest of Hope and Maranatha Baptist Church, as well as the food bank’s programs like the Mobile Food Pantry.
“Last year we collected about 7,700 pounds from the Americus Post Office. In that same year, we distributed nearly 230,000 pounds back into Sumter County through our partner agencies,” said Eliza McCall, chief marketing officer of Second Harvest of South Georgia.”
Second Harvest of South Georgia serves 30 counties and is the largest rural food bank in Georgia. Headquartered in Valdosta, the organization has locations in Albany, Douglas, and Thomasville. Through its network of over 450 partner charities and through its programs, the food bank distributed over 20 million pounds of food (or 14.6 million meals) in the last 12 months and is feeding thousands of children daily. For more information on how to help alleviate hunger in South Georgia, visit online at www.feedingsga.org.