June 11, 2013
By Neal Tepel
WASHINGTON, DC – The annual food drive of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) collected more than 74 million pounds of food to help restock food banks, pantries and shelters around the country.
The May 11 effort garnered 74.3 million pounds of food, an increase of 5 percent over last year. The total food collected was the second most in the drive's 21 years, and the increase was the highest in a decade.
"This demonstrates in clear fashion 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 remarkable 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.
The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive never has been more important than in these times, with hunger a growing problem – affecting about 50 million people around the country, including 17 million children and nine million 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.