The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will conduct its 26th annual national food drive on Saturday, May 12 in our community. The Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive, the country’s largest single-day food drive, provides residents with an easy way to donate food to those in need in the community.
Customers simply leave their donation of non-perishable goods next to their mailbox before the delivery of the mail on Saturday, May 12. Letter carriers will collect these food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes and distribute them the afternoon of May 12, a team of letter carriers’ and union member volunteers will help deliver and sort food at this area’s Feeding America food bank, HACAP Food Reservoir (1515 Hawkeye Drive, Hiawatha,IA).
HACAP works to source and distribute food to more than 126 non-profit Partner Agencies in Linn, Cedar, Benton, Iowa, Jones, Johnson and Washington Counties including soup kitchens, pantries, senior and daycare centers, drug and alcohol treatment centers, homeless shelters and other nonprofit food programs that feed those in most need of food.
Each year, more than 46 million Americans – including 12 million children – rely on Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.
Hunger has no boundaries and is a problem that exists in urban, suburban and rural communities. In fact, 12.1% of Linn County residents are food insecure. In the fiscal year 2017, the HACAP Food Reservoir distributed approximately 6.3 million pounds of food to our partner agencies (non-profit pantries and feeding programs) in 7 counties. The gift of nutrient-rich food can help feed a childhood and help kids in need realize their potential with well-nourished food.
Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap shows how hunger impacts every county in the country. With its network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency shelters throughout the country, Feeding America helps provide food to children in need.
The food received from “Stamp Out Hunger” will be distributed free by the HACAP Food Reservoir to serve those in need in Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn and Washington counties.
According to HACAP Food Reservoir Director, Linda Gorkow, “Food donations are extremely important this time of year when many pantry shelves filled up through winter/holiday generosity often are bare by late spring. And, with most school meal programs suspended during summer months, thousands of children in our community must find alternate sources of nutrition.”
Stamp Out Hunger is a collaborative effort between the NALC (National Association of Letter Carriers), Hawkeye Area Labor Council, United Way of East Central Iowa and HACAP.
With the economic struggles many Americans face, the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive is as critical as ever. Not only do millions of Americans go hungry, organizations that help them are in need of replenishments.
Hunger affects about 50 million people around the country, including millions of children, senior citizens and veterans. 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.
Letter carriers see these struggles in the communities they serve, and they believe it’s important to do what they can to help.
On Saturday, May 12, as they deliver mail, the nation’s 175,000 letter carriers will collect donations left by residents near their mailboxes. People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag—paper or plastic—containing non-perishable foods, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, canned meats and fish, pasta, peanut butter, rice or cereal, next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery on that Saturday.
This year’s effort includes a public service announcement with award-winning actor and director Edward James Olmos. Television networks and stations can use this link to find and download high-quality versions of the PSA, in English and Spanish.
Since the first national Food Drive in 1993, the Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has collected more than 1.5 billion pounds of food; last year’s drive brought in a record 80 million pounds of food.
People who have questions about the drive in their area should ask their letter carrier, contact their local post office, or go to nalc.org/food, facebook.com/StampOutHunger or facebook.com/HACAP, twitter.com/StampOutHunger.