Central Indiana's letter carriers and United Way celebrate 21st anniversary of Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

If you want to help struggling Hoosiers put food on the table, it's as easy as a trip to your mailbox.

That's the message behind Stamp Out Hunger, an annual food drive now in its 21st year to provide hunger relief for millions of struggling Americans. Stamp Out Hunger

It works like this: On Saturday, May 11, postal customers place non-perishable food items near their mail boxes where they'll be collected by letter carriers to help food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in Central Indiana through Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana and American Hunger Relief.

In Central Indiana, city and rural letter carriers make giving the food easy by picking up food donations in Anderson, Beech Grove Brownsburg, Camby, Carmel, Cicero, Danville, Fishers, Fortville, Greenfield, Greenwood, Indianapolis, Jamestown Knightstown, Lizton, McCordsville, Mooresville, New Palestine, Noblesville, Pittsboro, Plainfield, Shelbyville and Zionsville.

On the second Sunday in May, The Stamp Out Hunger food drive has become the nation’s largest single-day food drive benefitting Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. In 2012, generous Americans donated more than 70 million pounds of food, which marked the ninth consecutive year that at least 70 million pounds were collected by 175,000 letter carriers.

The need for food assistance continues in every community in America, no matter how rich or poor. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual study measuring food security in the United States, more than 50 million Americans, including 17 million children, are food insecure, meaning they live at risk of hunger.

In Central Indiana, 2-1-1 calls from people needing help finding food spiked 34 percent from 2010 to 2012, (23,227 in 2010 to 31,116 in 2012). The statistic was reported by Connect2Help, a United Way agency that operates one of Indiana’s regional 2-1-1 centers for people who want to get or give help.

United Way has been a partner with the National Association of Letter Carriers in this annual event since 1991.

Feeding America provides food assistance to 37 million Americans every year. According to Feeding America, one in eight Americans relies on the organization for food and groceries, and the organization distributes 3 billion pounds of donated food and grocery products annually.

Campbell Soup Company and its partners produced post cards and grocery bags to remind 75 million homes across the country to participate. Campbell will again support the effort by donating one million pounds of food more than 800,000 meals to Feeding America member food banks.