With summer now here, local food banks and church shelves normally would be well-stocked, benefiting from the 70 million-plus pounds of food recently received from the letter carriers’ annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, held in May for the past 27 years.

The food drive’s timing is key, because winter holiday donations have dwindled from food pantries and homeless shelters, and school meal programs are not available in summer. The coronavirus pandemic, however, forced the postponement of the scheduled May 9 drive for safety reasons – even as the pandemic-related economic shutdown has worsened food insecurity.

The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) has developed a new plan to address the problem of hunger.

Americans can go to nalc.org/food, select a food bank close to them and donate funds to help the pantry purchase food. This has been set up in a manner that allows every dollar raised to go directly to purchasing food for the hungry.

As always, the food procured will stay in the community to help residents in need.

For the meantime, there may be a silver lining to this approach born of necessity. Rather than a one-day event, this effort will continue as needed. And, food banks can purchase more food than a resident could buy and donate with the same resources.

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