LOS ANGELES — On Saturday, May 14, letter carriers across America will deliver more than mail along their postal routes. They will also collect the goodness and compassion of their postal customers who will participate in the NALC (National Association of Letter Carriers) Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.
Now in its 19th year, the Stamp Out Hunger effort is the nation’s largest singleday food drive benefitting food banks around the country. Residents of Los Angeles and surrounding areas are asked to leave nonperishable food donations by their mailboxes, which will be picked up by their letter carriers as they deliver mail on their routes.
MEND — Meet Each Need with Dignity, the San Fernando Valley’s largest poverty relief organization, is working closely with the NALC to coordinate food collection and distribution to local food banks, pantries and shelters. MEND President Marianne Haver Hill says the need for food assistance has never been greater and food banks are struggling to meet the surging needs of their clients.
“The effects of the recession and unemployment are having a dramatic impact on agencies like ours that help the hungry. That is why events like this are critical,” she says. “The donated food helps fill community food banks and pantries throughout the Summer months when donations are at their lowest and the need for food at the highest.” Ralphs Supermarkets are underwriting the cost of 750,000 bags that letter carriers will leave in predesignated neighborhoods to encourage food donations, but any sturdy bag can be used. Residents are asked to leave the bag containing non-perishable foods such as canned soup, canned vegetables, pasta, rice or cereal next to their mailbox prior to the time of regular mail delivery on Saturday, May 14. Food items should be in nonbreakable containers, such as boxes and cans.
Led by the National Association of Letter Carriers 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 19 years. The drive relies on the backing of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Feeding America, United States Postal Service, the nation’s food bank network: Campbell’s Kitchen, and local sponsors such as KTLA and Ralphs.