Fill ’er up

Published 9:35 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2013

In mailboxes all across the county, the state, the nation, a rather unusual item turned up this week: a grocery bag. But this is not just any grocery bag. This one is stamped with the words “Stamp Out Hunger,” and we are all invited to load the bag up with food and help stamp out hunger right here at home.

The number of Americans who wonder where their next meal is coming from has been rising since 2008. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual study that measures food security in America, nearly 50 million people in our country are living in food insecure homes. The numbers in Beaufort County reflect the trend, with more people each year signing up for assistance with the local food pantry, Eagle’s Wings.

With such need, the partnership between the National Association of Letter Carriers and Campbell Soup Company allows every resident to take part in helping their neighbors. Just fill your bag with canned goods and nonperishables, place it by your mailbox this Saturday and your contribution will be picked up. Items that do not need refrigeration — like canned meats and fish, soup, bottled juice, vegetables, pasta, cereal and rice — are requested. Items that are expired or in glass containers are not accepted.

While this is a nationwide event, the food collected here does stay here. Eagle’s Wings receives a hefty donation of all collected. In the 2012 drive, more than 70 million pounds of food were donated nationwide. This year, the drive aims for more and they’re making it super-easy to take part: providing the bag to fill, and pick up and delivery of your food to those in need.

It’s not necessary to have the “Stamp Out Hunger” bag to participate: you can recycle your plastic, grocery-store bags too. It’s also not necessary to limit yourself to one bag. The more bags you fill, the less people go hungry in our community.