Hawaii Food Basket Press Release:

Wally Lau, representing the County of Hawai`i’s Mayor’s office, issued a proclamation on April 30th, supporting the efforts of Hawai’i Island’s local letter carriers. May 9th is this year’s date for the “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive which is the biggest coordinated food drive of its kind in the nation. “The Mayor and his administration care deeply about this issue and we greatly appreciate their continued commitment and efforts towards making sure our most vulnerable residents have enough to eat” said En Young, Executive Director of The Food Basket, Hawai`i Island’s Food Bank.

On Saturday, May 9, as they deliver mail, Hawai`i Island letter carriers will collect donations left by residents near their mail boxes. They will be joined by retired letter carriers, by family members and friends, and by countless volunteers to help collect and distribute the sacks of non-perishable food items that get left next to generous customers’ mailboxes that morning.

People are encouraged to fill the blue plastic bag that was delivered to their address earlier in the week, with non-perishable foods such as canned soup; canned vegetables; canned meats and fish; pasta; peanut butter; rice or cereal and leave next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery on Saturday.The non-perishable food is sorted and packed for delivery to The Food Basket’s warehouses in Hilo and Kona.

Partners in the National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive on Hawai`i Island include the Hawaii Island United Way, the AFL-CIO and numerous affiliates including the HGEA, and other community minded volunteers who collectively donate thousands of hours of labor before and during the drive.

The “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive could not be more timely. Low-income children with working parents often rely on their school to provide them with a meal during the day. As summer nears, the demand for ready made meals and other nutritional supplements grows among this population. Mr. Young adds “With the highest rates of food insecurity in the state on this island, and several schools with free and reduced lunch rates of over 95%, donations of ready-made shelf stable meals, fruit and vegetables are particularly needed to feed our keiki over the summer.”

To help, please look for the blue plastic bag in the mail, fill up your bag, and drop it in your mailbox or deliver to your local post office to help The Food Basket and partners make this drive a success.

For any questions about the National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive or to learn how you can help feed the hungry on Hawai`i Island, please call The Food Basket at 808-933-6030 or visit www.hawaiifoodbasket.org