The National Association of Letter Carriers is marking an anniversary.
Saturday is the 20th time for the group's Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, an event that we believe is well worth the effort.
Letter carriers across the country, in partnership with the U.S. Postal Service, have collected food for families in need for two decades, a tradition they will continue this weekend.
Locally, the Steubenville post office and its National Association of Letter Carriers members have collected more than 8,000 pounds of food every year to be donated to local food banks and pantries.
This year, the local letter carriers are donating food collected to Urban Mission Ministries to help area residents in need. The drive is the nation's largest single-day food drive, with 70.2 million pounds of food in total collected in 2011. That may seem like an overabundance, but remember that 16 percent of Americans are at risk of hunger, according to officials. That means one in five children under age 18 are hungry every day, and may not know from where or when their next meal is coming. And don't forget about our area's senior citizens, who must choose daily between buying food or paying a utility bill or purchasing prescription medicine.
So this Saturday, please leave nonperishable food items and pet food in the bags provided by the postal carriers or in a paper bag on your doorstep or porch. The Urban Mission, along with other area food pantries, provide a invaluable service to the Tri-State Area, and without donations from all of us, they cannot continue to operate.
We commend our local letter carriers for what they do on a daily bases, weathering the elements to deliver our mail. But we also appreciate the extra work put in the second Saturday of each May, when they donate their time to pick up and deliver canned foods to aid our area's needy. Please be sure to thank your letter carrier for caring.