NALC food drive to be held May 9 On Saturday May 9, the largest annual one-day effort to combat hunger will once again take place in your community. That is the day of the 17th Annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive. In Vermillion the food drive is conducted with the help of not only the letter carriers but also the rural carriers, who cover the country side including the Burbank and Meckling areas, as well as all the other postal employees. Volunteers from the Vermillion Food Pantry and local 4-H groups will also be lending a hand to help collect as many food items as possible. The concept is simple and donating is as easy as taking a can or two of non- perishable items and placing them by your mailbox on Saturday, May 9. When you get your regular delivery of mail, whether a house, apartment, in town or in the country, your donation will be collected and taken to the Vermillion Food Pantry, which is operated out of Trinity Lutheran Church. If you are not able to participate on May 9, you are encouraged to donate early, simply leave a note with the items so that the postal employees know that this is a food pantry donation. The Vermillion Food Pantry is staffed by volunteers from the community and for the past 25 years has been providing extra nutritional support to the needy in our Clay County community. This postal food drive always comes at an important time, the conclusion of the school year. This means all of those children who depended on the school lunch program to provide them with the nutrition they need, will no longer have access to it. In order to fill the gap through the summer months their families depend heavily on the Food Pantry. Current USDA data shows that one in six children in the United States do not know where there next meal will come from. These children are also shown to be at risk for illness, have weakened immune systems, are 90 percent more likely to be in fair or poor health and 30 percent more likely to be hospitalized. With the current economic hardships being faced, these numbers are expected to rise. This is a list of some food items which are in greater demand for the summer and donations of these items are highly important to our Food Pantry: fruit juices, hamburger or tuna helper, vegetable soup, soda crackers, rice side dishes, instant potatoes, canned tomatoes, microwave popcorn, bath-size bar soaps, cold cereals, canned fruits — all kinds, tomato soup, peanut butter — 18 ounce, old fashioned rice — one pound, scalloped potatoes, chili with meat, canned mixed vegetables, beef stew, toilet paper — four pack wrapped, pancake mix, pancake syrup, jelly/jam — 18 ounce, chicken noodle/rice soup, Jell-O /pudding mixes, cake/muffin mixes, canned Irish potatoes, spaghetti sauces — family size, pork and beans, canned chicken — six ounces, diapers — sizes four, five and six. The postal food drive is held on Mother's Day weekend and there could be no better way to honor those mother's who have fed and cared for us, than to help those who cannot feed their families. Please be generous, donated a can or two (or whatever you are able) to the food drive on May 9. The goal of the Vermillion NALC is to collect 5,000 pounds of food items and this can only be done with the support of the entire community. Please do your best to help those who need and deserve our help the most — our children — and generously support the postal food drive on Saturday, May 9. Help us "Stamp Out Hunger."