Your mail carrier will be checking your mailbox for more than letters this Saturday. May 8 is the 18th Annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) National Food Drive to “Stamp Out Hunger” when letter carriers will collect non-perishable donations from homes as they deliver mail along their postal routes.
The NALC National Food Drive is the largest one-day food drive in the nation. Carriers collected a record 73.4 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 Guam.
Donations from this year’s drive are expected to push the overall total since the annual drive began 18 years ago to more than one billion pounds of food collected. The total currently is 982.7 million pounds.
Donations will also be collected by more than 1,400 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.
On the NALC web site, 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. 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 will 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.
More power to you, NALC! What an awesome example of an organization using its resources to impact our communities in a positive way. As for me, my mail carrier will definitely find more than letters in my mailbox on Saturday! Join me! Together we can help stock our local foods banks and support our neighbors in need.