Representing one of more than 10,000 cities and towns across America, employees with the Tamaqua post office collected non-perishable food items Saturday as part of their national Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.
Every second Saturday in May, letter carriers from across the nation deliver much more than mail when they walk and drive along their postal routes. They also collect the goodness and compassion of their postal customers who participate in the NALC Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive – the largest one-day food drive in the nation and probably the world.
Led by letter carriers represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers (AFL-CIO), with the help of rural letter carriers, other postal employees and numerous other volunteers, the drive has resulted in delivery of more than one billion pounds of donations to community food banks and pantries over the past 20 years.
Carriers collect non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes and in post offices and deliver them to local community food banks, pantries and shelters. Nearly 1,500 local NALC branches in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands are involved in the drive.
The U.S. Postal Service and Campbell Soup Company are major supporters of the drive. Campbell Soup also earmarked an additional 1 million pound canned food donation to the drive. Other supporters are AARP, Feeding America, Publix, Valassis/Red Plum, Cox Target Media and its Valpak Direct Marketing Systems, the nationwide direct mail marketing firm, which promotes the drive on 40 million packets delivered to postal customers.
The drive also relies on the backing of the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, the Feeding America food bank network, the United Way of America and its local United Ways, the AFL-CIO Community Services network, Uncle Bob's Self Storage and countless local sponsors.
All citizens need do is to place a box or can of non-perishable food next to their mailbox before their letter carrier delivers mail every second Saturday in May. The carrier will do all the rest. The food is taken back to a postal station, sorted, and then delivered to an area food bank or pantry. There it is available for needy families.
With more than 50 million people facing hunger every day in America, including nearly 17 million children, this drive is one way people can help those right in their own city or town who need help.
The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has received a number of accolades over the years, including two Presidential Certificates of Achievement.