Customers simply leave their donation of non-perishable goods next to their mailbox before the delivery of the mail on Saturday, May 12. Letter carriers will collect these food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes, and distribute them to local food agencies. Visit stampouthungerfooddrive.us to learn more.
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. It remains as important as ever, with many people facing economic struggles. Hunger affects about 50 million people around the country, including millions of children, senior citizens and veterans.
Letter carriers see these struggles in the communities they serve, and believe that it is important to do what they can to help.
"Over its first quarter-century, the food drive has only grown in importance and in impact," NALC President Fredric Rolando said. "It's an honor to be able to help people in need all across the United States – and to do so in a way that brings out the best in so many Americans."
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.
Last year, letter carriers collected 75.3 million pounds of food, the third-highest amount since the food drive began in 1993. That brought the total over the past quarter-century to almost 1.6 billion pounds.
On May 12, as they deliver mail, the nation's letter carriers will collect the donations that residents have left 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, 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. Several national partners are assisting NALC in the food drive: the U.S. Postal Service, the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union, the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO, Valpak and Valassis.
This year's effort includes a public service announcement with actor and director Edward James Olmos.
People who have questions about the drive in their area should ask their letter carrier, contact their local post office, or go to nalc.org/food, facebook.com/StampOutHunger or twitter.com/StampOutHunger.