Roman J. Salamon
Stamp Out Hunger Letter Carriers’ Food Drive delivers hope for those in need
The National Association of Letter Carriers (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.
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.
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 the Feeding America network 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 May 9, as they deliver mail, the nation's 175,000 letter carriers will collect donations left by residents near their mail boxes. 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.