This Saturday, May 12th, marks the 26th Annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Stamp Out Hunger food drive. All food collected by Boulder letter carriers will go directly to Boulder Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA).
KGNU spoke with Dan Bramlage of Rudi’s Bakery, an EFAA partner for 15 years, and Diane Santoyo, a local letter carrier, about EFAA and the Boulder Stamp Out Hunger event.
Despite the image of Boulder as an affluent town, 1 in 6 people in our community are “food insecure” according to Dan Bramlage. That is, they don’t have an adequate way to provide nutritious food for themselves and their family’s next meal. For many, the reality is that so much of their income is consumed by rent and bills that they are unable to afford nutritious food. The result, says Mr. Bramlage, is that “You can go to a fast food restaurant, for $.99 you might be able to pick something up to fill your stomach but if it is calorie dense and nutrient poor you’re not really doing something that’s sustainable and good for you, long-term.” Which is how we find ourselves with an obesity epidemic in parallel with record levels of hunger.
The focus then for EFFA, is providing nutritious food to struggling families and individuals, thereby allowing them to stretch their income enough to, ideally, get out of the poverty-cycle.
It is important to remember that, though most food bank donations are made over the holiday season, there is always a need. By May, according to Bramlage, EFAA has a much-diminished inventory. Unfortunately though, summer is a time of increased need. This is because, during the school year, many of these kids get their main meal(s) at school. During summer, families need more food in the house to fill that gap.
For Diane Santoyo, who became involved with the Stamp Out Hunger program a number of years ago, and now coordinates the mail carriers countywide, it has been an incredibly positive experience. “It has been rewarding to see the amount of food that we collect on a yearly basis to provide for those who are in need.” She encourages locals to watch their mailbox for postcards with details about the Stamp Out Hunger food drive, as well as bags, which can be used for food pick up (though any box or bag will work). Then, this Saturday, take a few minutes to leave a bag or box of nutritious, non-perishable food items (of particular need are canned goods such as soup and chili, cereal and spaghetti) by your mailbox and your letter carrier will pick up and deliver to EFFA – or for those outside Boulder – your local food pantry.