WASHINGTON, May 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will conduct its 20th annual food drive to combat hunger this year on Saturday, May 12. 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 will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 10, at the National Association of Letter Carriers, 100 Indiana Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. Speakers will include 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, President Rolando noted.
“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, May 12, 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.
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.
People who have questions about the drive in their area should ask their letter carrier, contact their local post office, or go to www.helpstampouthunger.com, www.facebook.com/StampOutHunger, or www.twitter.com/StampOutHunger.
Campbell Soup Co. has provided 75 million postcards to mail to postal customers to remind them of the drive, and will again donate one pound of food (up to one million pounds) to the Feeding America food bank network for every person who joins the Stamp Out Hunger Facebook community.
Public service announcements featuring radio and television host Nick Cannon are being made available throughout the country. Valpak Direct Marketing Systems is focusing 44 million of its envelopes on encouraging food donations. AARP is providing 13.5 million bags, Campbell one million bags, and Publix grocery chain and IP paper are each donating bags in certain parts of the country.
The 300,000-member NALC 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, the NALC is among the country’s oldest labor unions.