June 17, 2014—The annual food drive of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) collected almost 73 million pounds of food to help restock food banks, pantries and shelters around the country—an impressive result made all the more necessary by the slow-paced economic recovery and recent natural disasters.
The effort on Saturday, May 10, gathered 72.5 million pounds of food—the 11th consecutive year the NALC drive has surpassed 70 million pounds of food collected. Several local NALC branches still are compiling their figures.
This year’s results bring the total to more than 1.3 billion pounds since the national drive began in 1992.
“This demonstrates the value of the unique postal network, which goes to 151 million addresses six days a week,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “It also shows the strong connection between letter carriers and the communities they serve—a bond that serves the nation well.”
The nation’s largest single-day food drive, the NALC effort 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. From major metropolitan areas to small rural towns, residents put out non-perishable food donations on that day, which letter carriers collect as they deliver mail along their postal routes.
“Letter carriers see first-hand the needs in the communities where we work, and we’re honored to be able to help people in need by leading an effort that brings out the best in so many Americans,” President Rolando said.
Hunger affects about 49 million people around the country, including millions of children and senior citizens. Pantry shelves filled up through winter-holiday generosity often are bare by late spring. And, with most school meal programs suspended during summer months, millions of children must find alternate sources of nutrition.
“The Postal Service’s universal network makes it possible for us to provide this critically needed assistance,” NALC food drive coordinator Pam Donato said. “So, too, do the many groups who help.”
Carriers brought the food to local food banks, pantries or shelters, including many affiliated with Feeding America, which was a national partner in the drive, as were United Way, AARP Drive to End Hunger, Publix, Campbell Soup Co., the U.S. Postal Service, National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, the AFL-CIO, Valpak, Valassis and Uncle Bob's Self Storage.
Among the many local volunteer groups that helped the nation’s 175,000 letter carriers were the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, National Guard units, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, Boy/Girl Scouts, various student groups, local Rotary Clubs, local and state AARP groups and local United Way volunteers.
Questions regarding the food drive should be directed to NALC Director of Community Services Pam Donato at 202-662-2489 or at email@example.com.
On Saturday, May 10, NALC members across the United States once again put the U.S. Postal Service’s universal delivery network to use to help feed the country’s hungry, by taking part in the 22nd annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive.
In more than 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions, letter carriers collected sacks of non-perishable food items left near customers’ mailboxes. Volunteers, including members of the other postal crafts and from postal management, as well as family members and friends, helped retrieve the heavy bags from loaded-down postal vehicles and transport the much-needed food to the organizations that serve the hungry.
NALC President Fredric Rolando congratulated all those who helped out on food drive day.
“Year after year, it’s tremendously impressive to see so many NALC members go the extra mile and lift the extra pounds to help ensure that America’s largest one-day food collection effort is a success,” Rolando said. “I’m sure our customers who struggle with hunger every day appreciate our efforts.”
Rolando thanked the union’s national partners in the drive: The U.S. Postal Service, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, Campbell Soup Co., Uncle Bob’s Self Storage, AARP Foundation and its Drive to End Hunger campaign, Publix grocery stores, Feeding America, Valpak, the AFL-CIO, United Way, and the Valassis marketing firm. He also thanked “Family Circus” cartoonist Jeff Keane, who again provided special Food Drive artwork this year.
As reports rolled in to NALC Headquarters in Washington, it seemed that good weather over most of the country had helped make for a successful food drive, with only a handful of locations reporting truly soggy conditions.
Collection results still are being tabulated at NALC Headquarters. A final national total for the drive is scheduled to be announced later this month, and a complete report on the drive, including branch-by-branch results, will appear in the August issue of The Postal Record.