With Hunger Rising, and School Food Programs Ending, Effort Will Help Feed Needy Families in All 50 States
WASHINGTON – In another successful nationwide food drive, the National Association of Letter Carriers collected 70.2 million pounds of food on May 14, at a time when hunger is a growing problem.
The NALC’s annual one-day drive, largest in the nation, is held 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. This was the 19th annual NALC Food Drive to stamp out hunger.
“Six days a week, letter carriers see first-hand the needs in the communities they work in, and we’re privileged to be able to help the needy and to lead an effort that brings out the best in so many Americans,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. Non-perishable donations residents left near their mail boxes were collected by the nation’s 230,000 letter carriers as they delivered mail.
This was the eighth consecutive drive surpassing 70 million pounds. Last year’s record collection of 77.1 million pounds pushed the total past the one-billion-pound mark, and the total since the drive began in 1993 now stands at 1,130,000,000 pounds. The slight downturn this year is related to the tough economy – which makes the drive all the more important.
About 50 million Americans – including 17 million children – now live in families that lack sufficient food. With most school lunch programs suspended during summer months, millions of children must find alternate sources of nutrition.
“This drive allows letter carriers to help revitalize food banks during difficult summer months when children have no school breakfast or lunch programs to count on,” NALC’s Community Service Coordinator Linda Giordano said.
The top five local NALC branch collections:
- Branch 1477 West Coast Florida Merged (1,770,814 pounds)
- Branch 599 Tampa, FL. (1,729,382)
- Branch 458 Oklahoma City, OK (1,485,118)
- Branch 3 Buffalo, NY (1,383,220)
- Branch 1100 Garden Grove, CA (1,112,083).
Carriers around the country brought the food from their routes on Saturday May 14 to local food banks, pantries or shelters, including many affiliated with Feeding America, a national partner in the drive.
Assisting 1,400 local NALC branches were rural letter carriers and other postal employees, plus members of other unions and civic volunteers.
Other national partners were Campbell Soup Co., the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, Valpak, the U.S. Postal Service, United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO and Uncle Bob’s Self Storage.