[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Partly cloudy
Partly cloudy
80°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
July 24
1864 - Walker/Reynier family patriarch Jean Joseph Reynier, then 15, arrives in Sand Canyon from France; eventually homesteads 1,200 acres [story]


Thirty-one tons.

That’s the amount of food collected in 2011 by postal workers throughout the Santa Clarita Valley during the annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive that went directly to the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry.

On Saturday, people all over the country will once again – for the 20th year in a row – leave bags and boxes of non-perishable food – for humans, pets, or both – out near the mailbox for their carriers to pick up and share with the community’s food-challenged residents. Santa Clarita has always been generous and officials from the local pantry are hoping that they will continue this trend.

Since record breaking is in the air with the folks at COC hoping to break the world’s record for the largest drum circle next Friday, it might be appropriate to “bang the drum” for the need that doesn’t seem to be diminishing.

According to SCV Food Pantry Executive Director Belinda Crawford, nationwide, one in six people or one in four children battle hunger each day – they skip meals, or eat non-nutritional foods just to satisfy their hunger. Locally, approximately 45% of clients are children and 11% are senior citizens (many who must make the choice each month to purchase either their medications or the food they need). Both of these vulnerable age groups are innocent victims of their circumstances.

Donations received on Saturday will help the SCV Food Pantry get through the summer months when need increases (kids are out of school) and free meal programs are not as plentiful. It’s also a time when food donations decrease, because of vacations and other distractions.

official_stamp_out_hunger_logo_2010_140Letter carriers pick up the donations at each home and bring them back to their respective post offices, where they are off-loaded by a team of 100 volunteers, who sort and put the food away in storage awaiting distribution to Food Pantry clients.

For the last 26 years, the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry has been dedicated to its motto, “No child in the Santa Clarita Valley should go to bed hungry.” There’s even a list on their website, indicating what is needed most:

* Canned meat, beans, soup, fruit, tomatoes

* Peanut butter

* Dried soups

* Pasta and rice

* Dry milk

* Cereal

* Toothpaste, toothbrushes

* Bar soap

* Deodorant

* Shaving cream

* Feminine hygiene products

The NALC Food Drive, now in its 20th year – is the largest in the world.

“It’s our 20th anniversary,” NALC President Fredric Rolando noted. “For two decades now, our annual national drive has proved critical in helping millions of American families—our customers—who are struggling to make ends meet during this continuing recession.

“Each year, the second Saturday in May is a day when all citizens have an opportunity, with the help of their letter carrier, to easily donate food to needy families in their community,” he said.

The drive, the largest one-day food-collection event in the nation, has been a success every year, Rolando said, but the needs are particularly sad, even staggering, in 2012.

“Sixteen percent of all Americans are at risk of hunger—uncertain where their next meal may be coming from. That includes 1 in 5 children under the age of 18, plus 4 million seniors who are forced every day to choose between paying a utility bill and buying food,” he said.

“Last year, despite many obstacles, letter carriers proudly collected 70.2 million pounds of food, raising the total amount of donations picked up over the history of the drive to more than 1.1 billion pounds,” Rolando said. “With help from our brothers and sisters in the rural craft, alongside other postal employees and volunteers, letter carriers will do what we can again this year to help all Americans.”

Providing branches and volunteers a much-appreciated boost are the drive’s official sponsors: the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, Campbell Soup Company, Valpak, U.S. Postal Service, United Way, AFL-CIO, Feeding America, Uncle Bob’s Self-Storage and AARP.

“We are proud to continue our support of the annual food drive,” NRLCA President Jeannette Dwyer said. “It has become clear how such a small act of charity on the part of one person can resonate so profoundly in the communities in which we live.”

Realizing that reminder postcards are key components in drumming up customer participation in the food drive, Campbell’s is donating 75 million postcards to help the cause.

“The employees of Campbell Soup Company share your passion for ensuring the health and welfare of individuals in every community,” Campbell’s President Denise Morrison said. “As we approach May 12, we pledge to work to ensure that every community rallies support for the NALC food drive.”

Another proven method of motivating customers to donate non-perishable food—including pet food—has been to provide them with special “Stamp Out Hunger” grocery bags. Campbell’s has pledged a donation of 1 million such bags to be distributed in select locations. International Paper is providing bags in certain areas, while Publix, the grocery store chain with more than 1,000 locations in the Southeast, is donating bags in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

AARP is kicking in more 13.5 million bags as well, to be delivered to selected states where senior-citizen hunger is a major problem. “Through ‘Drive to End Hunger,’ AARP has made our own commitment to solve the problem of hunger among older Americans,” AARP Foundation President Jo Ann Jenkins said. “Our support for Stamp Out Hunger is an important part of this effort.”

AARP also will promote the drive through articles and advertisements in its membership magazine, and hundreds of volunteers representing the organization will be out in force on May 12 to help sort and distribute food collections.

The NALC drive began at the local level in the late 1980s and went nationwide in 1992. Twenty years later, letter carriers all across America—including Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands—still lead the charge in the sadly ongoing battle against hunger, helping to stock food banks, pantries and shelters for the summer months.

“This year, we enter the drive amidst a‘perfect storm’ of high unemployment, sky-high food and gasoline prices, unprecedented budget cuts to federal nutrition programs, limits on charitable-giving incentives and a decline in federal commodities,” Feeding America President Vicki Escarra said. “Some of our larger food banks are reporting declines in food inventories of as much as 35 percent from last year.

“Few are more committed to ending hunger in America than letter carriers,” she said. “You are the ones on the front line of the poverty battlefield. You see and console the very same people who come to us for emergency food assistance, often before we see them.”

In a letter to President Rolando, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe expressed the Postal Service’s strong support of the drive.

“With most school lunch programs suspended during summer months, millions of children must find alternate sources of nutrition,” Donahoe said. “I look forward to working with you to make a difference as our carriers, other postal employees and citizens in communities throughout our nation deliver for families in need through the food drive.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka also backed the drive and asked the labor federation’s affiliates, state federations and central labor councils to join the NALC in promoting and conducting the event.

“With America still reeling with devastating unemployment, the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive comes at a critical time,” he said. “With the support of unions all across America, the NALC can set a record in collections, helping those who have lost their jobs in this economy and the millions more facing economic uncertainty.”

“Last May, for the eighth consecutive year, the food drive collected more than 70 million pounds of food in one day,” United Way President Brian Gallagher said, “a testament to the dedication and commitment of a strong network working together for a worthy cause, and we are pleased that United Way will continue to partner with the NALC.”

Jim Sampey, Valpak’s chief operating officer, said his company is honored to again be part of this year’s campaign,“our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the men and women who deliver the Valpak blue envelopes to more than 40 million U.S. households each month.”

And Uncle Bob’s Self-Storage President Kenneth Myszka said his company is “proud and humbled” to do its part by donating its fleet of rental trucks to collect donated food. “We look forward to our continued partnership with the NALC, and we pledge to help however possible in each of the markets in which we operate,” he said.

Back again as the drive’s celebrity spokesperson is singer and “America’s Got Talent” host Nick Cannon, and this year’s special “Family Circus” artwork is dedicated to the memory of longtime supporter and “Family Circus” cartoonist Bil Keane, who died in November.

For more information on the SCV Food Pantry, including donation hours or volunteer possibilities, visit their website at www.scvfoodpantry.org or call (661) 255-9078.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

No Comments

    Leave a Comment


    SCV NONPROFIT LINKS

    NONPROFIT HEADLINES
    Tuesday, Jul 23, 2019
    You’re invited to attend the Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library “Half-Price Huge Book Sale” event at the Valencia Library on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for a chance to discover some great summer reads at a bargain price.
    Monday, Jul 22, 2019
    Tickets are on sale and sponsorships are still available for the nonprofit WiSH Foundation's fifth annual "Cocktails on the Roof" fundraiser for Hart District schools at the Westfield Valencia Town Center Mall on Friday, Sept. 6.
    Monday, Jul 22, 2019
    The Placerita Canyon Nature Center opened its doors to Nikki Dail on Sunday to talk about her travels through Belize.
    Friday, Jul 19, 2019
    Bridge to Home, the primary homeless services provider in the Santa Clarita Valley, has secured a Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority contract in the amount of $840,000 which will fund three-quarters of the annual cost of providing 60 beds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
    Thursday, Jul 18, 2019
    Arts for Santa Clarita is looking for artists – musicians, actors, writers, visual artists and more – to participate in the next Artquinoxen event scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21, at Eureka Village, the home of SCV Adventure Play Foundation.

    Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
    1864 - Walker/Reynier family patriarch Jean Joseph Reynier, then 15, arrives in Sand Canyon from France; eventually homesteads 1,200 acres [story]
    You’re invited to attend the Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library “Half-Price Huge Book Sale” event at the Valencia Library on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for a chance to discover some great summer reads at a bargain price.
    Aug. 17: Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library Book Sale
    Get ready for Queen Nation to rock your world on Saturday, July 27. The Queen tribute band will perform during this year’s Concerts in the Park series, presented by Logix Federal Credit Union.
    Queen Tribute Band to Rock You at Concerts in the Park
    College of the Canyons is the only community college selected to participate in the Bringing Theory to Practice’s (BTtoP) Partnerships for Listening and Action by Communities and Educators (PLACE) initiative, a collaborative network of academic-community partnerships focused on civic-engagement and public-humanities work.
    COC Only Community College Selected to Participate in PLACE Initiative
    The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a Heat Advisory for Wednesday, July 24, as high temperatures (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) have been forecast for the following areas: - Santa Clarita Valley - San Fernando Valley - San Gabriel Valley
    Heat Advisory Issued for SCV Wednesday
    HazMat crews were called to the suspected illegal dumping of a corrosive material in Castaic on Tuesday morning.
    HazMat Crews Respond to Possible Corrosive Material in Castaic
    The SCV Chamber is proud to announce it will host a Current Affairs Forum with special guest, U.S. Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce.
    July 30: Current Affairs Forum with U.S. Rep. Katie Hill
    The California Enterprise Development Authority will hold a teleconference meeting Thursday, July 25, at 10:30 a.m.
    July 25: California Enterprise Development Authority Teleconference Meeting
    (CN) – Concentrations of fine particulate matter in U.S. skies lead to thousands of deaths annually and have shortened life expectancy despite efforts to curb pollution, a study found Tuesday.
    Air Pollution Linked to LA County’s Largest Drop in Life Expectancy
    Downtown Newhall’s brightest new star, the Newhall Press Room wine bar and restaurant, was recently presented with a very enviable honor: Wine Spectator magazine’s Award of Excellence.
    Newhall Press Room Honored with Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence
    U.S. Air Force Airman Lean Lukas G. Aguilar graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.
    Saugus High Alumnus Graduates from Basic Military Training
    Palmdale Sheriff’s Station deputies patrolling Monday night responded quickly to sounds of gunshots in an Acton neighborhood and discovered a resident shooting at a snake.
    Deputies Respond to Rattlesnake-Related Gunshots in Acton
    1982 - Vic Morrow & two child actors killed in helicopter crash at Indian Dunes during filming of "Twilight Zone: The Movie" [story]
    Twilight Zone Movie
    Veronica Alvarez, Ed.D., began her tenure last week as CalArts' new director of the Community Arts Partnership Program, or CAP, which offers free after-school and school-based arts programs for youth ages 4-18.
    Alvarez Brings Arts Education, Commitment to Social Justice to CAP
    The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation is offering a new jobs resource for SCV companies -- LiveWorkSCV.com, a comprehensive, highly visible job board that matches SCV career opportunities with SCV residents who want a job closer to home.
    LiveWorkSCV – New Jobs Resource for Local Employers
    FBI agents searched the headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power on Monday morning as part of an ongoing investigation.
    FBI Raids Los Angeles DWP, City Attorney Offices
    Tickets are on sale and sponsorships are still available for the nonprofit WiSH Foundation's fifth annual "Cocktails on the Roof" fundraiser for Hart District schools at the Westfield Valencia Town Center Mall on Friday, Sept. 6.
    Sept. 6: ‘Cocktails on the Roof’ Fundraiser
    Taylor Snyder (pictured above) blasted a three-run home run in the fifth inning to help the JetHawks to a 7-2 win over the San Jose Giants on Monday afternoon at Excite Ballpark.
    Snyder Homers, JetHawks Topple Giants Monday
    Amar A. Singh, a Los Angeles man, was arrested Friday on suspicion of child cruelty for allegedly kicking the 2-year-old son of his friends while attending a party at the couple's Canyon Country residence.
    Family Friend Accused of Kicking Couple’s Toddler
    The Placerita Canyon Nature Center opened its doors to Nikki Dail on Sunday to talk about her travels through Belize.
    NCA Board Member Talks About Her Journey Through Belize
    A shoplifting suspect was also arrested on a felony drug possession charge after deputies allegedly discovered narcotics on him at the Sheriff’s Station.
    Shoplifting Suspect Charged with Felony Drug Possession
    The city of Santa Clarita and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works will co-host a pair of advanced Smart Gardening Workshops at two local Santa Clarita Library branches in August and September.
    City Libraries to Host Smart Gardening Workshops
    Taylor Snyder went deep in his second straight game, and Lucas Gilbreath set a season-high for strikeouts, but the JetHawks fell to the San Jose Giants, 4-3, on Sunday evening in San Jose.
    Gilbreath Strikeouts Hit Season High in JetHawks Loss
    TV series, reality shows and music videos are among the productions now filming in the Santa Clarita Valley aka “Hollywood North” the week of July 22-28.
    Now Filming in SCV: TV Series, Reality Shows, Music Videos
    %d bloggers like this: