One in six residents of PA struggle with hunger and may not know where their next meal is coming from. To combat hunger, on Saturday, May 10, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) in more than 1,200 branches nationwide will be collecting non-perishable food items for the 22nd annual “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive. Letter carriers will collect the non-perishable food donations as they make their normal deliveries along their postal routes. The annual event, which began in Harrisburg, is the largest one-day food drive in the world. Last year more than 74.4 million pounds of food was collected across the U.S. Locally, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank relies on these donations to replenish our supply. Nearly 20,000 pounds of food was collected for the Food Bank last year.
“Too many people in this country are still going hungry every day,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “It’s such an easy way for our customers to help people in their own communities. All they have to do is leave a non-perishable food donation in a bag by their mailboxes. Then, just like we do every Saturday of the year, letter carriers will swing by—only on Saturday, May 10, we’ll be ready to pick up the food donations and make sure they get to the local Food Bank.”
“The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is essential for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank to re-stock our shelves,” stated Joe Arthur, executive director of the Food Bank. “With record numbers of people needing food assistance in central PA, every donation, no matter how small, will make a positive impact on someone in our community who is lacking the nutrition they need.”
The 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. Among the many local volunteer groups that will help are the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, National Guard units, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, Boy/Girl Scouts, various student groups, local Rotary Clubs, local and state AARP groups and local United Way volunteers.
Last year’s 74.4 million pounds of food donations was the second-highest amount since the NALC's food drive began in 1992. That brought the total to nearly 1.3 billion pounds for the food drive.
"The Postal Service's universal network, reaching 151 million addresses six days a week, makes it possible for us to provide this critically needed assistance," NALC food drive coordinator Pam Donato said.
On May 10, as they deliver mail, the nation's 175,000 letter carriers will collect the donations that residents leave 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.
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.
The 280,000-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