Because he lives in Toronto and it’s expensive to text or talk on the phone, my uncle writes me letters. How nice it is to walk out to the mailbox and see my name on an envelope that isn’t a bill of some sort. What’s even better is the thrill I get from slipping a note into the mail, knowing he’ll get it in a few days. Who knew old-fashioned snail mail could still be so exciting?
Buying a book of stamps and sending my uncle letters is a tiny blip on my budget radar. In fact, I often buy them at the grocery store at the same time I’m overindulging on food for a new recipe or spending too much money on an imported bottle of wine just because I like the way the label looks. In those moments it’s easy to be wasteful and forget that nearly 17 million children in the United States will probably go without food today.
That’s why this weekend, I’m looking forward to the thrill of walking out to my mailbox to make someone’s day a little brighter. On Saturday, May 11, I’m participating in the Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Stamp Out Hunger is a national initiative spearheaded by Campbell Soup Company and the National Association of Letter Carriers. Now in in its 21st year, the single-day food drive has collected more than 1 billion pounds of food since its inception.
It’s as easy as this – I’m leaving cans of peanut butter, black beans, pinto beans, green beans and corn in my mailbox. My letter carrier will pick it up at some point during the day for Roadrunner Food Bank here in Albuquerque. How great it will be to know that when I close my mailbox, the $10 and three minutes of my time I spent will put a smile on someone’s face.
You can help, too. When you’re grocery shopping for that Mother’s Day brunch this week, throw some extra nonperishable food items in your cart, like soups, pasta, rice, canned vegetables and fruit and canned meats. Just leave them near your mailbox on Saturday, and Stamp Out Hunger partners will take care of the rest. Don’t have a mailbox? No problem. Just bring it to a post office near you.
What an easy and inexpensive way to help solve the problem of hunger in our neighborhoods. They say it takes a village, so join me in the fight against hunger and help us Stamp Out Hunger this weekend!
Annemarie Ciepiela Henton is a volunteer serving on the Food Bank’s Communications Committee.