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.

Registration = postcards: What are you waiting for?

If you want Food Drive reminder postcards, don’t delay—register now.
Registration forms must be returned by mail only (no faxes) by March 1, 2016. Click here.

 

T-shirts, pins, lawn signs and more!
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2016 Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Letter carriers, start your Food Drive engines!

by Community and Membership Outreach Coordinator Pam Donato

From the January 2016 Postal Record: Our Letter Carriers’ “Stamp Out Hunger”® Food Drive has officially kicked off, as a letter from President Rolando has been sent to every NALC branch president in the country, encouraging them to register for the largest one-day food drive in the world. Enclosed with that letter is the important food drive registration form, the kick-starter for all of our work in this 24th year of the drive.

The president’s letter will be delivered in a hard-to-miss, orange-tinted NALC envelope, prominently marked with the “Stamp Out Hunger” logo alongside the NALC’s return address. This stand-out tint will match the color of the registration form, which I hope will make them both attention-grabbing. Branch presidents are asked to complete the registration form immediately, in part to let NALC Headquarters know how many postcards will be needed for all of the residential deliveries in your branch, as well as to name your branch food drive coordinator.

The reminder postcards will be made available to branches, at no cost, as long as they register by March 1. Branch food drive coordinators and others who work on the food drive should help remind their branch presidents to complete the registration form and make sure it gets mailed to: NALC, Food Drive Registration, 100 Indiana Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20001-2144. Note: No faxes or e-mailed registrations will be accepted.

When the food drive registration form is received at NALC HQ, all of its information is recorded. The branch president-appointed food drive coordinator will then be mailed the appropriate materials. This includes the coordinators’ manual; a form for ordering posters, lawn signs, banners, hats, pins and T-shirts; a special food drive DVD; and sample copies of the new Family Circus cartoon drawn for this year’s drive. This treasure trove of information will also be available at nalc.org/food.

UFCW joins Food Drive as national sponsor

NALC is pleased to announce that United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) has signed on as a national partner for the 24th annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, which will take place in 2016 on its traditional second Saturday in May: Saturday, May 14.

The partnership between UFCW and NALC is a natural one. Working families not only see their letter carrier at least six days a week, they often see their grocery clerk or checker just as frequently. This partnership is perhaps even more appropriate since UFCW represents workers in food-related industries, such as grocery stores and food-processing facilities.

Our food drive is the largest one-day food drive in the United States. In 2015, active and retired letter carriers, along with their family members and friends—not to mention countless volunteers—collected almost 71 million pounds of non-perishable food. These results brought the grand total to more than 1.4 billion pounds since the drive began in 1992.

NALC looks forward to working with UFCW as letter carriers continue to make good on our commitment to use our Food Drive to deliver much needed food to local food banks and food pantries.

We also have some fantastic news about this year’s food drive. We have a new national premier partner: the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW). This is incredibly good news for many reasons. Not only is UFCW large (with 1.3 million members), but it is strong, active, respected and present in all sorts of food-related places. UFCW represents workers in retail and grocery stores, some of which likely are right near you. It also represents folks in the food-processing and meat-packing industries (think Kraft, Smithfield and Hormel).

UFCW’s partnership gives us a tremendously dedicated union ally, and it will help NALC provide reminder postcards, communications support and invaluable connections to potential local sponsors for bags, billboards, media and volunteers. You can learn more about UFCW at ufcw.org; look for a big introduction to UFCW in a future issue of The Postal Record and at nalc.org/food.

There are so many things that bring us hope, inspiring us to double down on the Letter Carriers’ “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive. We have postcards, a new union partner and a renewed commitment to bring help to those in need. Please join this phase of food drive work with your planning and your creative skills. And help make sure your branch gets registered, too. Materials are sent only when we receive your registration. (Remember: If you register by March 1, you’ll get the postcards you need at no cost.)

There’s something for everyone

by Community and Membership Outreach Coordinator Pam Donato

From the December 2015 Postal Record: Ever want to help set a world record? You can, while at the same time you can help your neighbor, the older couple down the block, your children’s friends at school, or the family of the soldier serving overseas.

We have the chance to do it with our 2016 Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, May 14.

First, the “world record” claim. After much research, including a notice from representatives of Guinness World Records, we now know that NALC owns the current record to beat. The 77.1 million pound food collection total we reached in 2011 is considered the number to surpass for any other group or organization holding a one-day food drive (conducted at multiple locations). So with a serious collective effort for our 2016 Letter Carrier Food Drive, we could set a new world record.

While being part of a world record setting is an exciting and admirable objective, this food drive began with, and has continued to work toward, a singular goal for over 23 years, to help those in need in our own communities. Remember, the people who need help are not unlike your own family, immediate or extended. They are working families, the elderly and children. They are the families of those actively serving in the military. They are single parents, grandparents raising grandchildren, parents dealing with a child’s serious health condition and families in which a parent has lost a job. These are folks doing everything “right,” often working more than one job, but still unable to make ends meet.

They go to your place of worship. They have the same values and goals as you do. And as we learned from our own members last year, some in the NALC have been on the receiving end of this kind of help at some point in our lives.

The NALC began preparing its 2016 food drive efforts well before the 2015 haul was stacked on food pantry shelves. This mammoth food drive, NALC’s national day of giving, takes more than a full year to plan and organize. It’s one of the toughest days of the year, but it’s also one of the most gratifying. Each bag of donations represents a meal for a family in need.

This early, branch leaders are developing their strategies for the May 14 food drive. So here’s what you can do to help: Reach out to your community. Do you have a food pantry on your route you’d like to have receive some of the food we collect? How about your church or faith community; does it have a food shelf that needs help? Are you aware of an afterschool program that could use donated food? Figuring out where the food goes is part of the planning.

Those who work inside these hunger organizations can be creative and resourceful planning partners, too. It’s best to start making these connections now. Early planning is also needed to harness the spirit (and healthy, strong legs) of groups your children might be involved with. Our food drive is an excellent volunteer opportunity that provides community service hours, often needed for college applications and résumés. Help connect us to student youth groups from high schools, colleges and universities. Boy and Girl Scouts and church youth groups are well organized and eager to participate.

Don’t forget adult volunteer organizations, such as the American Legion, VFW and veterans’ organizations, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, etc. If you are a member of one of these groups, help connect your branch president to the person in charge of that group to coordinate a food drive volunteer opportunity. The addition of these “official volunteers” can help lighten the load for all the carriers in your branch.

Volunteers could also provide a cookout for carriers and helpers when they come back off the routes on Food Drive Day. This is great for morale and can build wonderful partnerships in your community.

Let your branch president know right now that you’d like to help. We’re still about five months away from our food drive, but your help and the connections you may have are needed right now. Please share your ideas with your branch president or national business agent.

Please help make May 14, 2016, the best food drive ever. There are so many in our communinities who are counting on us and you can make a big difference and maybe even help set a new world record at the same time. That’s how we live the holiday spirit.


Click here to read the Postal Record article about the 2015 Food Drive

Successful results for letter carriers’ annual food drive

Another superb effort helps Americans and communities

June 15, 2015: The annual food drive of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) collected almost 71 million pounds of food to help restock food banks, pantries and shelters around the country, an impressive result made all the more necessary by the extreme weather experienced by much of the country, along with the economic struggles many Americans face.

The effort on Saturday, May 9, gathered 70.6 million pounds of food, marking a dozen consecutive years in which the NALC drive has surpassed 70 million pounds of food collected. Several local NALC branches still are compiling their figures.

This year’s results bring the total to more than 1.4 billion pounds since the drive began in 1992.

“This shows the value of the universal postal network, which goes to more than 150 million addresses six days a week,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “It also shows the strong connection between letter carriers and the communities they serve, a unique 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 on that day non-perishable food donations that letter carriers collect as they deliver mail along their postal routes.

“Six and even seven days a week, letter carriers see first-hand the needs in the communities where we work,” President Rolando said, “and we’re committed to helping meet those needs.”

Hunger affects about 49 million people around the country, including millions of children, senior citizens and military veterans. Far too many people remain unemployed or underemployed and need food assistance, and so 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.

Rolando praised the contributions of the various organizations that helped the nation’s active and retired letter carriers in the food drive. Carriers brought the food to local food banks, pantries or shelters, including many affiliated with Feeding America, which was a national partner in the drive, as were the U.S. Postal Service, National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, the AFL-CIO, United Way Worldwide, Valpak and Valassis.