So, each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect non-perishable food donations from our customers. These donations go directly to local food pantries to provide for families in our own community in need of help.

Last year, on this one day over 71 million pounds of food were collected nationally. Over the course of its 23 year history the drive has collected well over one billion pounds of food, thanks to the Postal Service’s universal network that spans the entire nation, including Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The need is great. Currently 49 million Americans (1 in 6) are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Nearly 16 million children feel the impact of hunger on their overall health and ability to perform in school, and 5 million seniors over age 60 have to decide between daily meals or paying for rent or needed medications.

The timing of this annual event is intentional and crucial. Food banks and pantries receive the bulk of their donations around the fall and winter holidays. By springtime many pantries are depleted, entering the summer with low supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need.

Participating in this year’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is simple. Just leave a non-perishable food donation in a bag by your mailbox on Saturday, May 14 and your letter carrier will do the rest. Please join in America’s great day of giving and help us in our fight to end hunger. — Sincerely, Your local Letter Carrier.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Coastal Humane Society and the Lincoln County Animal Shelter in Edgecomb are in the beginnings of “Kitten Season,” or that time of year when orphaned kittens and moms-to-be are discovered and brought in to the shelter. Shelter front desk staff frequently gets calls about what to do when a kitten or group of kittens is found.

The shelter urges anyone who discovers kittens on their property or in the woods to monitor the area from a distance for at least a day, and only disrupt the kittens if it looks like their mother isn’t returning. Of course, make an exception if the kittens are sickly or in harm’s way, if for example, they are in the path of predators or traffic.

If the mother cat does return, leave some food out and call the shelter to plan the next steps. The shelter has limited volunteers to call on to help trap animals in this situation, and animal control officers for each town are listed on the Coastal Humane Society website. The shelter also lends out Havahart traps as well from their 190 Pleasant St. building. It’s a good idea to call ahead first so shelter staff can prepare a kennel for the animal(s). — Jane, Coastal Humane Society.

Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can be emailed to [email protected], tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Spots Facebook page at facebook.com/SunJournalSunSpots. This column can also be read online at sunjournal.com/sunspots. We’ve joined Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/sj_sunspots.


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