|Letter carriers plan food drive |
|Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2012 9:07 pm |
| The National Association of Letter Carriers will conduct its 20th annual food drive to combat hunger on Saturday. On that day, letter carriers will collect non-perishable donations as they deliver mail along their postal routes. |
It is the largest single-day food drive in the country, and 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.
Last year, letter carriers collected 70.2 million pounds of food donations along their postal routes, bringing the total to more than 1.1 billion pounds for the NALC’s food drive, which began in 1992.
The 20th anniversary Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive kick-off event was held this morning at the National Association of Letter Carriers in Washington D.C. Speakers included NALC president Fredric Rolando and Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.
“The drive never has been more important than in these times, when hunger is a growing problem, affecting about 50 million people around the country, one-third of them children. With most school lunch programs suspended during summer months, millions of children must find alternate sources of nutrition,” Rolando said.
“We’re privileged to be able to help people in need by leading an effort that brings out the best in so many Americans,” Rolando said. “Six days a week, letter carriers see first-hand the needs in the communities they work in, and we’re committed to helping meet those needs when possible.”
On Saturday, the nation’s 200,000 letter carriers will collect the donations residents leave near their mail boxes, as they deliver mail. Americans 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. Bags were distributed with mail this week as long as the supply lasted. Local officials are encouraging residents to fill a bag even if they did not receive a special Stamp Out Hunger bag.
Carriers will bring the food to local food banks, pantries or shelters, including many affiliated with Feeding America, a national partner in the drive. Assisting 1,600 local NALC branches will be rural letter carriers and other postal employees, plus members of other unions and civic volunteers. Other national partners are Campbell Soup Co., AARP, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, Valpak, the U.S. Postal Service, United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO and Uncle Bob’s Self Storage.
Locally, food is distributed to Meals on Wheels for the elderly, the American Red Cross and area churches. Any organization interested in picking up food from the drive on Saturday can contact the Union City Post Office at 885-9711 before 10 a.m. on Saturday and ask to speak with Felicia Webb for Roger Burress for a pick up time. “We cannot accommodate everyone at the same time, so please call,” Ms. Webb said, adding “Every donation large or small contributes to the drive and makes a big difference for someone in need.”
She reminds area residents that non-perishable food items are requested and should not be out-of-date items.
“Thanks to all our patrons city and county-wide for their wonderful gift of giving on this day. Without you, all this could not be the success that it is,” she said.
Published in The Messenger 5.10.12