Every day more than 20,000 older Montanans face the risk of hunger. They’re our friends, our neighbors and our family and they don’t want to be a burden, so they suffer in silence.
That’s why AARP Montana has teamed up with the National Association of Letter Carriers to fight hunger in local communities throughout the state.
What can you do in a single day to help us fight hunger in Montana?
On Saturday, May 12, there's an easy answer: Donate nonperishable food products to Stamp Out Hunger, the nation's largest one-day food drive. You don't even have to leave home to do it. Just put the food in a bag and leave it by your mailbox. Your letter carrier will pick up the food and deliver it to a local food bank or pantry.
You'll be helping some of the 51 million Americans — including more than 6 million who are 60 and older — who struggle to put food on the table. Nearly 17 percent of Montanans report not having had enough money to buy food at some point in the preceding 12 months according to a recent study commissioned by AARP Foundation. According to statistics from the Montana Food Bank Network, nearly 1 in 5 Montanans needed emergency food from their local food bank last year.
Since the National Association of Letter Carriers began Stamp Out Hunger in 1992, the program has collected more than 1 billion pounds of donated food, including more than 77 million pounds last year. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the annual event.
Together, AARP and AARP Foundation established the Drive to End Hunger last year to stop hunger in its tracks. This year, they're teaming up with NALC. AARP Montana will send a postcard to members that live in participating communities to remind them to put food out on Saturday, May 1.
Here's how you can contribute:
- Place nonperishable food products in a paper bag. Canned meats and fish, canned soup, juice, pasta, vegetables, cereal and rice can be donated. No products in glass containers or past their expiration dates, please.
- Leave the bag by your mailbox before your usual delivery time on Saturday, May 12.
- Your letter carrier will pick up the bag and deliver it to a community food bank, pantry or shelter.
- You can also take your food to your local post office on May 1 (You should also call your post office if your food isn't picked up.)
Local food banks are expected to be very busy on Saturday, May 1You can also help that day by contacting your local food bank to see if they need volunteers to receive the donations.