Donations Critical as Thousands Join Hunger Rolls; Effort Will Help Feed Needy Families in All 50 States
WASHINGTON – The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) announced today that the nation’s largest annual food drive to combat hunger will be conducted this year on Saturday, May 8. On that day, letter carriers will collect non-perishable donations from homes as they deliver mail along their postal routes.
The 18th annual NALC National Food Drive to “Stamp Out Hunger” is the largest one-day food drive in the nation. Carriers collected a record 73.4 million pounds of food in last year’s drive. The drive is held annually on the second Saturday in May in over 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.
Donations from this year’s drive are expected to push the overall total since the annual drive began 18 years ago to over 1 billion pounds. The total currently is 982.7 million pounds.
Donations will be collected by more than 1,400 local branches of the 295,000-member postal union and delivered to food banks, pantries and shelters that serve the communities where they are collected. Assisting in the effort are rural letter carriers and other postal employees, as well as members of other unions and thousands of civic volunteers.
NALC President Fredric V. Rolando emphasized that as successful as the food drive has been in the past, it simply must be even better this year.
“Millions and millions of families are suffering – struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table,” Rolando said. “Food banks, pantries and shelters need our help more than ever this year. As families count on them for support, they’re counting on us and we will not back off on our commitment.”
Rolando also noted that donations are particularly critical at this time since most school lunch programs are suspended during the summer months and millions of children must find alternate sources of nutrition.
In New York City, where transportation limitations preclude mailbox pickup, citizens are asked to take donations to their local post offices between May 3 and 8.
Persons who have questions about the drive at their location should ask their letter carrier or contact their local post office.
Over 125 million postcards, sponsored by the Campbell Soup Company and the U.S. Postal Service, will be mailed to postal customers to remind them of the drive. Valpak Direct Marketing Systems is also focusing 44 million of its envelopes on encouraging food donations. Television and radio public service announcements featuring David Arquette and Courteney Cox are being made available throughout the country.
Other co-sponsors of the drive with the letter carriers’ union are the U.S. Postal Service’s Priority Mail; Campbell Soup Company; Valpak; National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association; Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network; United Way Worldwide and its local United Ways; and the AFL-CIO.
SOURCE National Association of Letter Carriers