The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will conduct its annual national food drive on Saturday, May 14. NALC’s food drive, which was first held in 1983, helps feed millions of Americans.
The Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive, the country’s largest one-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 14. Letter carriers will collect these food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes, and distribute them to local food banks, pantries, shelters and churches.
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 Islands and Guam. Hunger affects 1 in 8 Americans, including millions of children, senior citizens and veterans.
In the 30 years since it began, the food drive has collected about 1.82 billion pounds of food for struggling residents.
The need is as great as ever, given the pandemic-caused economic dislocations of the past two years. The traditional food drive is returning this year after a two-year hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2020 and 2021, it was replaced by NALC’s donor drive, in which those wishing to help made online donations to local food pantries.
“Letter carriers are a part of every neighborhood in the nation,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said, “and we see the growing need for food assistance in our communities. On Saturday, May 14, NALC invites everyone to participate in the annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Together, we can help stamp out hunger in America.”
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.
On May 14, as they deliver mail, the nation’s 200,000 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, Vericast, United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO, Valpak, the Kellogg Co. and CVS Health.