The National Association of Mail Carriers (NALC) will hold its annual National Food Drive on Saturday May 14th. The NALC Food Drive, first held in 1983, helps feed millions of Americans.
The Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive, the nation’s largest one-day food drive, offers residents an easy way to donate food to those in need.
Customers simply leave their non-perishable food donation next to their mailbox before the mail is delivered on Saturday, May 14. Mail carriers will collect these food donations that day by delivering the mail along their postal routes and distribute them to local food banks, food pantries, shelters and churches.
The Letter Carrier 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. Hunger affects 1 in 8 Americans, including millions of children, the elderly and veterans.
In the 30 years since its launch, the food drive has raised around 1.82 billion pounds of food for struggling residents.
The need is greater than ever, given the economic disruption caused by the pandemic over the past two years. The traditional food drive returns this year after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2020 and 2021, it was replaced by NALC’s donation campaign, in which those who wanted to help made online donations to local pantries.
“Letters are part of every neighborhood in the country,” said NALC President Fredric Rolando, “and we see the growing need for food assistance in our communities. On Saturday, May 14, NALC invites everyone to participate in the annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Together we can help eradicate hunger in America.
The timing is important, with food banks, pantries and shelters running out of donations during the winter holidays and heading into summer when most school lunch programs are on hold.
On May 14, when the mail is delivered, the country’s 200,000 postmen will collect donations that residents have left near their mailboxes. People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag of non-perishable food, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, canned meat and fish, pasta, rice or cereal, next to their box letters before regular mail delivery on Saturday. Food donations stay in each community and go to help local residents.
Several national partners assist NALC in the food drive: the United States Postal Service, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, Vericast, United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO, Valpak, the Kellogg Co. and CVS Health.
This year’s effort includes a public service announcement featuring letter carriers and NALC President Rolando: youtu.be/dhfHDGkdUsQ.
People who have questions about driving in their area should speak to their postman, contact their local post office, or go to nalc.org/community-service/food-drive or twitter.com/StampOutHunger.