WASHINGTON – The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) announced today that the nation’s largest food drive to combat hunger will be conducted this year on Saturday, May 11. On that day, letter carriers will collect non-perishable donations from homes as they deliver mail along their postal routes.
The 21st annual NALC National Food Drive to “Stamp Out Hunger” is the largest one-day food drive in the nation. Nationally, carriers collected 70 million pounds of food in last year’s drive. The drive is held annually on the second Saturday in May in over 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Donations will be collected by almost 1,500 local branches of the 295,000-member postal union and delivered to food banks, pantries and shelters that serve the communities where they are collected. Assisting in the effort are rural letter carriers and other postal employees, as well as members of other unions and thousands of civic volunteers. Last year, the Marquette Post Office collected 14,700 pounds of food last year, which was then distributed to food pantries at Salvation Army, St. Vincent De Paul, Harbor House, Janzen House and Voices for Youth.
NALC President, Fredric V. Rolando, emphasized that as successful as the food drive has been in the past, it simply must be even better this year. “Millions and millions of families are suffering – struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table,” Rolando said. “Food banks, pantries and shelters need our help more than ever this year. As families count on them for support, they’re counting on us and we must not back off on our commitment.” Rolando also noted that donations are particularly critical at this time since most school lunch programs are suspended during the summer months and millions of children must find alternate sources of nutrition.
It’s easy to participate. Just leave your non-perishable items in a bag or box near your mailbox before the mail comes, and the postal carrier will pick it up. Persons who have any questions about the drive at their location should ask their letter carrier or contact their local post office. In Marquette, please contact Larry Kuhn at 226-9963.
Over 125 million postcards, sponsored by the Campbell Soup Company and the U.S. Postal Service’s Priority Mail, will be mailed to postal customers to remind them of the drive. Television and radio public service announcements are being made available throughout the country.
Other co-sponsors of the drive with the letter carriers’ union are the U.S. Postal Service’s Priority Mail; Campbell Soup Company; Valpak; National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association; Feeding America, formerly known as America’s Second Harvest, the nation’s food bank network; the United Way Worldwide and its local United Ways, and the AFL-CIO.