UNION COUNTY — Saturday, May 14, marks the 24th anniversary of one of America’s great days of giving — the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.
Letter carriers walk through the community every day, often coming face to face with a sad reality for too many, hunger. So, each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect non-perishable food donations from our customers. These donations go directly to local food pantries and organizations to provide food to people in Union County who need our help.
Each year, groups, businesses, and organizations join the NALC at the local, regional, and national levels, to help grow a campaign of hunger awareness and community action in conducting this one day, record making food drive. From the beginning, at the national level, we have had the steadfast support of the USPS, United Way, and AFL-CIO. This year, United Food and Commercial Workers union joins us as a national premiere partner, adding the largest food union in the country to our efforts. Locally, the Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive enjoys partnerships with many church and faith groups, Rotary and Lions Clubs, grocers and youth groups, and those who work to provide help and hope to those in need.
Last year, we collected over 71 million pounds of food nationally, feeding an estimated 30 million people. Over the course of its 23-year history, the drive has collected well over one billion pounds of food, thanks to a postal service universal delivery network that spans the entire nation, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands.
The need for food donations is great. Currently, 49 million Americans — 1 in 6 — are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Sixteen million are children who feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school. And over 5 million seniors over age 60 are food insecure, with many who live on fixed incomes often too embarrassed to ask for help.
Our food drive’s timing is crucial. Food banks and pantries often receive the majority of their donations during the Thanksgiving and Winter holiday seasons. By Springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need.
Participating in this year’s Food Drive is simple. Just leave a non-perishable food donation in a bag by your mailbox on Saturday, May 14 and your letter carrier will do the rest. Those non-perishable food items are any canned or dried goods. No glass jars please or perishable items needing refrigeration.
There will also be a hamper in the lobby of the Post Office for you to drop off food. I invite you to join America’s great day of giving and help us in our fight to end hunger.
We look forward to another record breaking 24th year in 2016, as we…
Build On A Billion!
Phillip Hughey is the City Carrier for the Union Post Office.