Sowing Seeds for LIfe Joins Letter Carriers in Delivering Food to the Needy … by LARRY STEWART

April 29, 2017
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Vicki Brown bags several donations that will go to help stamp out hunger.

Sowing Seeds for Life, a major La Verne-based charitable organization which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is once again joining the National Association of Letter Carriers in this area to assist in a big way with its Stamp Out Hunger drive.

Coincidentally, the NALC Stamp Out Hunger drive is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Stamp Out Hunger is the largest one-day food drive in the country. Letters carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns collect food donations from their customers and deliver them to their respective post offices.

The date of delivery this year will be Saturday, May 13.

Sowing Seeds for Life’s role in the food drive is bigger than ever.

Vicki Brown, the founder and CEO of Sowing Seeds for Life, says SSFL will be picking up groceries from three post offices — La Verne-Claremont, San Dimas, and Montclair. The food collected by SSFL will be distributed to smaller pantries throughout the area and to seniors and veterans the second Friday of every month for the foreseeable future.

SSFL helps some 6,000 men, women and children in the East San Gabriel Valley per month. It distributes more than one million pounds of food per year, plus offers some clothing and a variety of services.

Team Effort

Heading up the Stamp Out Hunger food drive at La Verne-Claremont is Tony Mazuca, the head steward to the local branch of the letter carriers union, and his wife Linda. Both have been spearheading the drive in their area since joining the La Verne-Claremont post office in 1999.

For San Dimas, the head steward is Matthew Kozlo and at Montclair it is Charlie Panedes. Getting everything done is a team effort. 

“Our letter carriers devote a lot of their own time to this food drive,” Mazuca said. “And picking up all the donations is a lot of extra work. They do this to help those in need.”

Nationally, the drive now brings in about 80 million pounds of food annually. A new record is set almost every year.

Said Vicki Brown: “It’s just amazing how much food is collected. It shows just how generous people can be and also shows what good people our letter carriers are. Tony Mazuca and his wife Linda deserve a lot of credit as the organizers of the drive for La Verne-Claremont.”

Ms. Brown also praised recently re-elected La Verne Mayor Don Kendricks for his support. “The mayor is a very good friend of Sowing Seeds for Life, and his help with this project, and everything else we do, is invaluable,” she said.

With more than 50 million people facing hunger every day in America, including nearly 17 million children, this drive is one way you can help those in your own city or town who need help.

Award-Winning Work

The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has received a number of accolades over the years, including two Presidential Certificates of Achievement.

“Letter carriers see many of these folks along our routes each day,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “Our food drive can make a positive difference in the lives of those who have been dealt difficult hands.

“Our work and our success will be just as crucial this year as ever, since the problem of hunger in this country shows little sign of going away.”

Signing on as national food drive partners this year are the U.S. Postal Service, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), United Way Worldwide, AFL-CIO, AARP Foundation, Valpak and Valassis.

Bags for donations are left in mail boxes by letter carriers.

For more information, go to and click on community service. To purchase special 25th anniversary commemorative stamps and other items, go to

Vicki Brown created Sowing Seeds for Life Seeds after her pastor at Glenkirk Presbyterian Church in Glendora gave her $100 to use to do good deeds. So she planted some seeds in the backyard of her home in Glendora to grow produce to donate to families in a nearby mobile home park.

“When I first planted those seeds,” she said, “I had no idea what it would become. I could never have imagined it.”

SSFL distributes food regularly on the first and third Wednesdays of every month at the DPI Labs parking lot at 1350 Arrow Highway in La Verne. Ms. Brown is also the CEO and President of DPI Labs, an aerospace manufacturing company.

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