Since this is a blog about food -- the cooking, sourcing, and enjoyment of it, and the creativity we can all find in its preparation, and especially about the appreciation of the beauty of the ingredients and the finished product, it seems only fitting that we take a moment to think about those in this Country, possibly even our neighbors, who don't have enough of it.
This month, the United States Postal Service, in conjunction with the National Association of Letter Carriers, Feeding America and several corporate sponsors, will be holding their annual "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive. As you can see, Saturday, May 14 is the day. This is the 18th year that the USPS and their carriers have participated in this project. Last year, over 77 MILLION pounds of food were collected by USPS carriers, and delivered to local food banks all over the country. That's a lot of food, but there's also a lot of need.
We can all help by leaving bags or boxes of non-perishable food items by our mail box on the morning of May 14, 2011. Make sure that the donation is placed there before your mail is delivered. Items donated should be things like canned meat, fish, soups, vegetables, fruits, juices pasta, cereals, dried beans and grains. Items that are shelf-stable and do not need refrigeration. Also, no glass packaging, and no expired products (this is not an excuse to clean out your pantry). I would take it a step further, and hope that the food you choose to donate is also nutritionally sound....salt free, or low sodium, fruits in natural juices, not heavy syrup, and no sugar bomb cereals. My bag has some rice, some dried pinto beans, some no-salt canned peas and corn, tuna in water, canned milk, etc.
I'm giving you enough notice so you can do what I did. In these economic times, I fully understand it can be tough to get our own food budget stretched far enough to cover our own needs, let alone the needs of others. But, by taking a dollar here, and a dollar there, over the next couple of weeks, most of us can fit in a few "extras" to help those in need.
Here's a link to the official "Stamp Out Hunger" website. You can get more facts and information there, as well as some downloads to get your kids involved.
I hope you'll join me in this effort. You'll feel good about yourself, and you'll fill a need (not to mention some tummies) that is far greater than we all know.