EL PASO — Beginning Saturday, the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive planned to collect sturdy bags of non-perishable foods throughout neighborhoods. Various groups encourage residents to leave their donations at their mailboxes for pickup.
Letter carriers will be collecting non-perishable food items and delivering those food donations to the West Texas Food Bank/El Pasoans Fighting Hunger.
"Unfortunately many El Paso families continue to struggle to meet their basic needs and must choose between paying their rent and buying food," said Deborah A. Zuloaga, President and CEO of the United Way of El Paso County. "We are proud to continue our support of the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive."
Statistics show that one in four El Pasoans does not have enough to eat. That includes 135,000 children and 85,000 adults. Research has shown that children who enter school without proper nourishment are at an early disadvantage and struggle to keep up with their more advantaged peers. Food insecurity has also been found to have a continuing negative impact on cognitive and academic development over a child's years in school.
In 2011, the food drive brought in 98 tons of food. The collection yielded enough food to supply thousands of El Paso families for about a week. This year's drive seeks to yield over 100 tons.