Community service

Letter Carriers’ ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ Food Drive

The 24th annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive
—Saturday, May 14, 2016—

Food Drive Tool Kit | Food Drive Coordinator's Database

Specific questions regarding the Food Drive should be directed to NALC Director of Community Services Pam Donato at 202-662-2489 or at


Thank you for helping to Stamp Out Hunger

Thank you for your generous participation in the 24th annual national Letter Carriers' ‪#‎StampOutHunger‬ Food Drive!

Special thanks to our national partners: US Postal Service, the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, the United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO, Valpak and Valassis.

Thanks also to the APWU - The American Postal Workers Union, Jobs With Justice, Union Plus and Amp Your Good, along with many other AFL-CIO affiliates and other labor organizations.

If you have photos or videos to share, you can use this link to send them to official food drive partner Sutherland Media via Hightail.

Final results are expected to be announced in mid-June. A full report will appear in The Postal Record.

Let your hard work be known!

Share your best Food Drive photos on social media. Help us find them by using the hashtag #StampOutHunger. Your pics could get posted on one of the official food drive accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And follow us on those accounts to share, post and “like” what’s there. You may also send them to us via the Hightail cloud service (special thanks to friend-of-the-food-drive Ann Sutherland).

Throughout May!
Donate fresh food…from anywhere

This year, the Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive will accept online food donations for hunger organizations in San Francisco, New York City and Greenwich, CT. “Stamp Your Good” is being provided through Food Drive partner Amp Your Good. Amp’s online “Crowd-Feeding” platform makes it easy to donate fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy food.

How it works: Make an online donation to Stamp Out Hunger anytime in May.

  • Select the city/area you want to support
  • Pick out and purchase the food you want to buy
  • The food will be delivered for you at the end of the Stamp Out Hunger drive
  • You’ll get a tax receipt for your donation

For more information about Amp Your Good and Crowd-Feeding, visit

Letter carriers deliver food, hope during 24th national Stamp Out Hunger drive

May 16, 2016: For the 24th year in a row, letter carriers across the United States could be counted on to display concern, compassion and commitment to their postal customers—and to the communities in which they work and live—by participating on Saturday, May 14, in the Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive, the nation’s largest one-day food collection effort.

“It is gratifying to see so many NALC members and other volunteers sacrifice their time and energy to make sure this humanitarian effort is a success, year after year,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “I’m sure that the recipients of our efforts appreciate it.”

Branch food drive coordinators and participants in most of the 10,000 cities and towns taking part in the drive had their local organizing efforts boosted by generally good weather. Even the cooler-than-normal temperatures in the country’s northern and eastern sections did little to chill the spirits of participating letter carriers and their family members, friends and countless volunteer food drive helpers.

At this point, many branch collection results forms are on their way to NALC Headquarters. But there are lots of other branches that were simply swamped by the overwhelming generosity of postal customers, and coordinators in those places are still busily calculating just how much non-perishable food had been donated.

Still others could be counted on to be continuing to collect bags of food on the Monday after the drive’s official second Saturday in May. For a variety of reasons, countless postal patrons each year miss their letter carrier’s pickup on the second Saturday in May. But they could still be assured that their donations would make their way to a local food bank the next time the carrier stopped by their mailboxes.

As totals were tabulated, local and regional food drive coordinators across America were optimistic that the 2016 drive’s national total would exceed last year’s figure of 71 million pounds, worth an estimated $150 million. (From the national drive’s beginning in 1992 through last year, the drive had collected more than 1.4 billion pounds of food.)

“It’s too early to tell what the final results will be,” NALC Community Service and Outreach Coordinator Pam Donato said, “but it’s never too early to hope for the best.”

Donato said that a number of factors were making her think positively.

“For one thing, every address in the country got a reminder postcard,” she said, “thanks to our partnership this year with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.”

UFCW’s volunteers, Donato added, recruited by countless thousands of that union’s 1.7 million members, helped make food collection efforts a little easier.

A concerted social media campaign designed to get the attention of the tens of thousands of followers of the Stamp Out Hunger Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts also helped spread the food drive message far and wide. And more than 1.2 million social media users saw that message through the special online flash-mob campaign via the Thunderclap service.

“The other national partners really stepped up, too,” Donato said, whether it was with a well-placed blog post by the AFL-CIO, near-constant tweets from Valpak on the endlessly scrolling Twitter platform, Facebook posts from USPS, or any of a variety of other types of outreach efforts by United Way Worldwide and its local affiliates, by the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association and by Valassis.

Food drive friends such as the American Postal Workers Union, The Salvation Army, Jobs With Justice and Union Plus lent an invaluable hand, too, in getting out the good word about the food drive, she said.

“It wasn’t hard to find evidence that there was some sort of national charity effort under way on Saturday, May 14,” Donato said, “and in plenty of locales across the country, you could easily catch sight of Jeff Keane’s Family Circus food drive art in post offices and countless other venues.”

Many news media outlets reported on the drive—before, during and after Saturday, May 14.

Scottsbluff, NE Branch 1836 letter carrier Randy Wallerich told The Star Herald that nobody in this country should have to go without food.

“I spent 31 years in military as an enlisted man,” Wallerich said, “and it was difficult to make ends meet, so my wife and I had to go to food banks for food.”

Columbus, GA Branch 546 President James Cadien told WRBL-TV that one of the reasons he looks forward to the yearly food drive is that he also has seen the consequences of hunger firsthand—for him, it was an elderly customer who was forced to make a choice: pay for food, pay bills or buy medicine.

“She was passed out on the floor from a lack of nutrition,” Cadien said. “Ever since then, it’s meant a lot to me.”

In a commentary in Canton, OH’s The Repository, author William Lambers called hunger “a silent crisis in America.

“The National Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is critical for keeping emergency pantries stocked,” Lambers wrote. “In addition, when summer comes many children lose access to the free school lunch program.”

In Hartford, CT, United Labor Agency Community Services Coordinator Greg Vavrek said that drives such as Stamp Out Hunger “are very important to helping our community, our children, our vets, our families that live just down the street or right next to us.”

Roadrunner Food Bank’s Julie Anderson told Albuquerque, NM’s KOB-TV, “We use all of the food that we get from this food drive to help sustain us over the summer, because, as everyone says, hunger does not take a vacation.”

Mandy Lown, assistant director for Carthage, MO’s Crosslines Ministries, called the letter carriers of Southwest Missouri Branch 366 “amazing.”

“Last year, we had rainy weather,” Lown said, “and some workers brought in hundreds of donations—they had to make two trips. The workers do an awesome job. We are blessed to have such a post office like ours.”

And despite rain in some areas of Hawaii, Aiea-Pearl City Branch 4682 Food Drive coordinator Adele Yoshikawa told KHON-TV that many postal customers still left bags of canned and packaged food by their mailboxes—food that was then sorted by volunteers along with friends and family members of letter carriers.

“Every year, we always hope and expect to beat last year’s total,” Yoshikawa said.

Branch collection results forms are due at NALC Headquarters by June 10. A final national total for the drive was scheduled to be announced shortly after that; a detailed report on the drive, including branch-by-branch results, will appear in a future issue of this magazine.

Thank you, and you, and you!

By Community and Membership Outreach Coordinator Pam Donato

If you participated in this year’s Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive, I hope you’ve had a chance to take a deep breath, put your tired feet up and enjoy a glass of your favorite cheer. You’ve earned the rest—and you’ve earned the feeling of accomplishment that comes from being a part of the largest food drive in the world.

We’re still counting up the donations made by postal customers to the thousands of food pantries and agencies across the country, but one thing’s already confirmed—letter carriers have done a fantastic job again this year. Please know that your incredible work on Saturday, May 14, has made a big difference for the millions of people who will have access to good meals as a result of your work. Helping to fill a basic human need for someone else in need is always the right thing to do, and I hope your generosity comes back to you, tenfold.

Before we close the book on our 2016 food drive, make sure you check off these final three tasks:

1. Help count all donations.

2. Thank your local partners, your fellow letter carriers and other postal employees, your customers and your community.

3. Make a list now of what worked well, of what went wrong, and of things you need to help your food drive effort improve in 2017.

Come August, we’ll start our work for 2017—which is the 25th anniversary of the Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. That’s a quarter century—and you’re still looking fabulous!

Branch collection results forms are due at NALC Headquarters by June 10. A final national total for the drive was scheduled to be announced shortly after that; a detailed report on the drive, including branch-by-branch results, will appear in a future issue of this magazine.