Community Service

Letter Carriers’ ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ Food Drive


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

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

Let your hard work be known!

Be sure to capture the action on or before Saturday, May 14, by sharing your best 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.


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 ampyourgood.com.


Hard work + sacrifice = great rewards

May 1, 2016—The 24th annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive is the nation’s largest one-day, providing letter carriers, other postal employees and thousands of volunteers across the nation the opportunity to meld their forces together to conduct the drive in their local communities.

“Letter carriers touch every residential and business address in this country at least six days a week,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said, “and our continued effort in the fight against hunger—often in our own neighborhoods—has made us all too familiar with the staggering numbers of people in need.”

The availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food, or the ability to acquire such food, is limited or uncertain for 1 in 6 Americans, many of whom are in households with at least one person working.

“So our goal is to help restock community food banks, pantries and shelters for needy families throughout the summer,” Rolando said, “and to build upon
the millions of pounds of non-perishable food collected since 1992 from millions of generous postal customers.”

Last year’s drive collected approximately 71 million pounds of non-perishable food that was left in bags next to postal customers’ mailboxes. It was the 12th consecutive year that letter carriers have collected more than 70 million pounds of food, and it brought the drive’s grand total to more than 1.4 billion pounds of food collected.

The drive is held each year on the second Saturday in May, and so Saturday, May 14, has for months been circled on the calendars of hunger-relief advocates who have watched as food supplies collected during winter holiday drives dwindle day by day. The drive also comes just before many school systems end their academic years, and that often can mean a suspension in subsidized meals for many students.

“Our hard work and sacrifice will not go unnoticed, I assure you,” Rolando said.

The food drive’s national partners are the U.S. Postal Service, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO and Valassis.

Award-winning actor Edward James Olmos is this year’s national spokesperson, the star of food drive—promoting public service announcements (PSAs) for TV and radio in English and Spanish.

New for this year’s drive is a pilot project through special food drive partner Amp Your Good, which is accepting throughout the month of May online food donations for select hunger organizations in San Francisco, in New York City, and in Greenwich, CT. Amp Your Good’s online “Crowd-Feeding” platform is designed to make it easy for postal customers to donate fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy food, to complement the non-perishables donated on Food Drive Day. Visit stampyourgood.com to learn more.

And let your hard work be known! Be sure to capture the action on Saturday, May 14, by sharing your best photos on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. You can help us find them by using the hashtag #StampOutHunger. Who knows? Your pics could get posted on any of NALC’s social media accounts on those platforms. Check us out—simply search for the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts named “StampOutHunger,” then share, post and “like” what’s there.

Branch collection results are due at NALC Headquarters by June 10. If you have questions regarding the food drive, get in touch with Donato at 202-662-2489 or at donato@nalc.org.


2016 Food Drive video: The story behind the story

By Community and Membership Outreach Coordinator Pam Donato in the April 2016 Postal Record:

Each year, NALC produces a video that is sent to each branch registered for the Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive. The video comes to fruition with professional filming and editing work performed by a union media company (this year, Sutherland Media of Washington, DC). It then gets played on workroom floors throughout the Postal Service, as well as at community meetings and other labor gatherings, all with an eye toward motivating letter carriers and providing a rallying point for working for our food drive.

The goal is to create a short video, so it’s difficult to have it go into much depth. This year’s video has a simple message: The folks we help with the food we collect are folks we all know. We wanted to personalize the message, showing real people and real situations.

Let me shed a bit of light on the story behind the stories you’ll see in this year’s video; if you know some of the players’ back story, it should help remind us why we’ve been working nationally at this food drive for so many years.

First up in the video is Mark, who’s dealing with serious, chronic health issues and who had been homeless for 14 months before we’d met him at the Food for Others food bank in Fairfax, VA. Mark’s first visit there was on the day we filmed; he was looking for food to stock his newly acquired apartment. He was able to obtain some basics—food, toilet paper, dish soap—and he was excited about the prospect of preparing a meal in his own kitchen that evening, something he had not done in more than a year. Watch as Mark sincerely expresses his gratitude for the help. He was kind and articulate, with a sense of optimism about his life—and he thanked letter carriers for the work we do that was helping him get back on his feet.

Next we meet Hassan, who fled Iraq in 2011 because he feared for the safety of his wife and four children. He was in his late sixties at the time, having been a surgeon for more than 40 years. Hassan worked hard while in Iraq and saved for his retirement, but that was all lost when his family emigrated. To gain the credentials necessary to practice medicine in the U.S. would be expensive and require many exams, and now that he’s over 70, doing so isn’t realistic. Hassan and his family have all become American citizens. His children are all adults now. All are working as much as they can, but they still come up short every month, so they rely on their food bank for help.

Rebecca is on next. She’s a young, single mother who recently left a violent relationship; the day we filmed at Food for Others was her first time reaching out for help from the food bank. Rebecca had been laid off from the airline industry. She gets no government assistance; instead, she works to put herself through nursing school. Her son’s school counselor referred her to Food for Others. For Rebecca, being on the receiving end of help was unfamiliar. With humility, she sought the food bank’s help to see her and her son through until she graduated from nursing school and could gain full-time employment.

The video also features interviews with Roxanne and Kirsten, two food agency representatives who understand how important the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive is in supporting their ability to serve those in need. Like letter carriers, these two women work face-to-face with real people in need every day, confirming in human terms this country’s staggering hunger statistics.

Maybe the most compelling person we met at Food for Others was Leo, a warehouse worker and driver there. Leo had been one of four children being raised by his single mother; his first experience with food agencies was as a child on the receiving end of help. That experience made Leo deeply appreciate such places, and he has a passion and drive that lets you know he is indeed in his element. Leo is now happily married with two young children, and it’s easy to imagine how a Letter Carriers’ Food Drive some 20 years ago might have provided Leo with the best leg up that any one of us could have given.

The video ends there, but the story will continue with this year’s food drive on Saturday, May 14.