Annual USPS Stamp Out Hunger Day set for May 12

by Cristin Parker

Make your mama proud this weekend and be sure to participate in the United States Postal Service’s 26th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive on Saturday, May 12.

Rusk and Jacksonville USPS branches will be collecting non-perishable food items as local postal carriers cover their mail routes throughout Cherokee County. Residents are urged to leave donations of non-perishable goods inside bags next to their mailboxes before the delivery of the mail on Saturday, May 12.

“Larger post offices, their collected contributions are sometimes spread about, but donations collected in (local) delivery areas, stay in our areas to help our community members,” Rusk Postmaster Theresa Wright said. “This time of year is especially important for food collection because this is the time when many food pantries’ shelves are starting to get bare.

“The bulk of food donations come in for the holidays and by springtime, most of that is gone. Also, many families’ needs for help increases during the summer when school, and the school’s breakfast and lunch programs, lets out.”

Hunger affects about 50 million people around the country, including millions of children, senior citizens and veterans.

In Cherokee County, donations will be provided to the Good Samaritan in Rusk and HOPE’s food pantry in Jacksonville. Both organizations help feed local families who can be considered ‘food insecure.’ The United States Department of Agriculture defines ‘food insecurity’ as the lack of access, at times, to provide enough food for all household members. USDA officials report nationally nearly 15 percent of households can suffer from food insecurity. Texas ranks at number three of the eight states with the highest reported food insecurity rates, at 18 percent. Arkansas and Mississippi are first and second, respectively.

“If every household that receives mail in these areas even only donates one to three non-perishable food items, think of home much food we’d collect for those who really need it,” Wright said.

According to the USPS’s website, every second Saturday in May, postal workers across America collect food during the country’s largest annual single-day food drive.

According to the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), the annual drive has delivered more than 1.6 billion pounds of food over the past 25 years. Last year’s drive collected 75.3 million pounds of food, assisting an estimated 30 million families nationwide.

“At least six days a week, letter carriers see firsthand the needs of the communities they work in,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said in a release published at, “and we’re privileged to be able to help those in need while leading an effort that brings out the best in so many Americans.”

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses relying on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.