23rd Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive
23rd annual Letter Carriers Food Drive is this Saturday, May 9
The NALC will conduct its 23rd annual food drive on Saturday, May 9. Letter carriers will collect non-perishable food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes.
It is the nation’s largest single-day food drive, and is held annually on the second Saturday in May in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam.
With the extreme weather experienced this winter by much of the country, along with the economic struggles many Americans face, the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive never has been more important.
Letter carriers are honored to be able to help people in need,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “We see the needs in the communities we serve, and we believe it’s important to help meet those needs.”
Hunger affects about 49 million people around the country, including millions of children and senior citizens. And one in four households with a member currently serving in the U.S. military turns to a food bank for food assistance.
Pantry shelves filled up through winter-holiday generosity often are bare by late spring. And, with most school meal programs not available during summer months, millions of children must find alternate sources of nutrition.
On Saturday, May 9, as they deliver mail, the nation’s 175,000 city letter carriers will collect donations left by residents near their mail boxes. They will be joined by retired letter carriers, by family members and friends, and by countless volunteers to help collect and distribute the sacks of non-perishable food items that get left next to generous customers’ mailboxes that morning.
People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods such as canned soup; canned vegetables; canned meats and fish; pasta; peanut butter; rice or cereal next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery on Saturday.
Carriers will bring the food to local food banks, pantries or shelters, including many affiliated with Feeding America, which is a national partner in the drive, as are the U.S. Postal Service, United Way Worldwide, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, the AFL-CIO, Valpak and Valassis.
People who have questions about the drive in their area should ask their letter carrier, contact their local post office, or go to nalc.org/food, facebook.com/StampOutHunger or twitter.com/StampOutHunger (hashtag #StampOutHunger).
When do I put out the food? On the morning of Saturday, May 9, just set out your non-perishable food items well before your letter carrier’s normal pick-up time. Note that he or she will be delivering and collecting mail as usual, on top of collecting food donations, so that pickup time could be slightly later than usual.
I put food out and it wasn’t picked up. Why not? We try to touch every single mail box in America during the Food Drive, but the fact is that we do admittedly miss some. The Food Drive takes place in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America. It’s an effort to raise national awareness about the real, ongoing problem of hunger in every community, and it’s a sincere attempt to use our unique delivery network to do something about it. Please note, though, that participation is strictly voluntary, and no system is perfect—oversights will occur. If your donation is not picked up, contact your local post office or simply place your donation by your mailbox on Monday instead. (We’ll be picking up missed donations on Monday, too.) You may also contact your state’s food drive coordinator (link coming soon). And of course, your local food banks and pantries will gratefully accept your donation in person. In any case, we are deeply thankful for your generosity and are truly sorry for any inconvenience.