The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will conduct its 27th annual national food drive on Saturday, May 11. The Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive, the country’s largest single-day food drive, provides residents with an easy way to donate food to those in need.
Customers simply leave their donation of non-perishable food items next to their mailbox before the delivery of the mail on Saturday, May 11. Letter carriers will collect these donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes, and distribute them to local food banks, pantries, shelters and churches. Visit stampouthungerfooddrive.us to learn more.
The Union Goods and Services Committee of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO encourages union members to support good jobs as they gather food donations for those in need. Following are some union-made non-perishable food items that would make great donations. Also, don’t forget that the Pierce County Central Labor Council and the Snohomish & Island County Labor Council are conducting their annual peanut butter drives in conjunction with the NALC food drive. (Follow those links for details.)
The Letter Carriers’ food drive 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 Islandsand Guam. It remains as important as ever, with many people facing economic struggles. Hunger affects tens of millions of people around the country, including millions of children, senior citizens and veterans.
Letter carriers see these struggles in the communities they serve, and believe that it is important to do what they can to help.
“This is a labor of love for letter carriers, and we are proud to see how it has grown in impact over the years,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “It’s an honor to be able to help people in need all across the country—and to do so in a way that brings out the best in so many Americans.”
The timing is important, with food banks, pantries and shelters running low on donations from the winter holidays and with summer approaching, when most school meal programs are suspended.
Last year, letter carriers collected 71.6 million pounds of food donations along their postal routes. That brought the total since NALC’s food drive began in 1993 to more than 1.67 billion pounds.
On May 11, as they deliver mail, the nation’s 202,000 letter carriers will collect the donations that residents have left near their mailboxes. People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, canned meats and fish, pasta, rice or cereal next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery on Saturday.
The food donations stay in each community, going to help local residents. Several national partners are assisting NALC in the food drive: the U.S. Postal Service, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO, Valpak and Valassis. We are also very pleased to have the participation of two new national partners this year: the Kellogg Co. and CVS.
This year’s effort includes a public service announcement with actor and director Edward James Olmos.
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.
The 284,000-member National Association of Letter Carriers represents letter carriers across the country employed by the U.S. Postal Service, along with retired letter carriers. Founded by Civil War veterans in 1889, NALC is among the country’s oldest labor unions.