UPDATE — When Patty Rose, Secretary-Treasurer of the Pierce County Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, put out the call this year to donate jars of union-made Jif peanut butter, her goal was to collect 500 jars for this Saturday’s National Association of Letter Carriers’ food drive. By the time the donations finished pouring in this week, they had collected 2,031 jars — nearly 4,000 pounds — of peanut butter for Pierce County food banks.
In this picture (click to enlarge), from top row left, PCCLC President Vance Lelli, Emergency Food Network Executive Director Helen McGovern, Patty Rose and members of NALC Branch 130 pose with the peanut butter donations.
“It’s our 20th anniversary,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “For two decades now, our annual national drive has proved critical in helping millions of American families — our customers — who are struggling to make ends meet during this continuing recession. Each year, the second Saturday in May is a day when all citizens have an opportunity, with the help of their letter carrier, to easily donate food to needy families in their community.”
Please leave your generous donations of non-perishable food at your mailbox on Saturday, and your letter carriers will pick it up and deliver them to food banks and other related organizations in your local community.
The drive, the largest one-day food-collection event in the nation, has been a success every year, but the needs are particularly sad, even staggering, in 2012.
“Sixteen percent of all Americans are at risk of hunger — uncertain where their next meal may be coming from,” Rolando said. “That includes 1 in 5 children under the age of 18, plus 4 million seniors who are forced every day to choose between paying a utility bill and buying food.”
Last year, letter carriers proudly collected 70.2 million pounds of food, raising the total amount of donations picked up over the history of the drive to more than 1.1 billion pounds.
“With help from our brothers and sisters in the rural craft, alongside other postal employees and volunteers, letter carriers will do what we can again this year to help all Americans,” he said.
Providing branches and volunteers a much-appreciated boost are the drive’s official sponsors: the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, Campbell Soup Company, Valpak, U.S. Postal Service, United Way, AFL-CIO, Feeding America, Uncle Bob’s Self-Storage and AARP.
“With America still reeling with devastating unemployment, the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive comes at a critical time,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “With the support of unions all across America, the NALC can set a record in collections, helping those who have lost their jobs in this economy and the millions more facing economic uncertainty.”