Letter carriers, with help from their sisters and brothers in the other postal crafts and thousands of other volunteers, will stage a blitz on Saturday, May 10, to combat hunger in America, conducting NALC’s annual “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive in every U.S. state and jurisdiction.
The drive, in its 16th year, is the largest one-day food collection in the nation and the biggest community service effort by any union affiliated with the AFL-CIO.
On the day before Mother’s Day this year, letter carriers will focus their efforts on restocking the community food banks, pantries and shelters that millions of American families will rely on throughout the summer.
The union settled on the second Saturday of May for the annual drive since food bank donations tend to wane after the winter holidays. This drop-off is particularly troublesome since the hunger problem is usually at its most critical during the summer when school breakfast and lunch programs—often the only source of stable nutrition for millions of children—are suspended.
The challenge this year is especially daunting. All signs point o a deepening recession, and with gasoline prices flirting with $4 a gallon, more and more families—including those of carriers—are looking everywhere for ways to save money. This economic squeeze comes while 35 million Americans are experiencing what the federal government refers to as “very low food security,” a euphemistic way of saying people are either already going hungry or are worried about where their next meal will come from.
In light of these conditions, President Young has asked each NALC branch to make a special effort to increase collection totals over last year.
“The need is very great, with many, many food pantries reporting record numbers of men, women and children seeking assistance,” said President Young. “And it will only get worse if our economy continues to decline.”
In 2007, the drive delivered 70.7 million pounds of non-perishable items donated by patrons to local food organizations—the fourth consecutive year the total surpassed 70 million pounds.
Last year’s figure brought the overall total for the nationwide drive’s history to 836.2 million pounds.