For 30 years, the National Association of Letter Carriers has held its annual Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive. Their goal? To feed millions in what has become the country’s largest one-day food drive. Here in Central Alabama, the United Way, local National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) chapters and Feeding America food banks, partner to make this annual drive happen. We’ve got all the details for how to participate—including two-hour volunteer shifts—so keep reading.
1. Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 14 for Stamp Out Hunger®
In 2019, the last year the Letter Carriers carried out this food drive in Birmingham, they collected a record-breaking 213 THOUSAND POUNDS of food which went to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama and other Central Alabama Food Banks, according to David Clark, Community Services Liaison, United Way of Central Alabama.
“United Way and the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama have been partners in this effort for 30 years. The Community Food Bank has served our community very well through the years with many different programs and services, including mobile pantries.”David Clark, Community Services Liaison, United Way of Central Alabama
2. Leave your donation by your mailbox before delivery May 14
While the letter carriers are out and about on May 14, they do double-duty. Not only do they deliver and pick up mail, but they also pick up food along the route. When their truck gets full, they drive to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama to drop off, then go back out to continue on their regular route until they are done.
The timing is important, with food banks, pantries and shelters running low on donations from the winter holidays and with summer approaching, when most school meal programs are suspended.
David Clark explained:
“We have kids who will soon be out of school. The summer need for food is usually tied directly to the kids.
This helps make sure that we’ve got plenty of food for the summer, to help supplement those families. It also provides necessary food for the Weekenders Backpack Program and many other programs that go on throughout the summer.”
3. Here’s what to donate
Load up a sturdy bag with non-perishables, such as the following:
- Canned soup
- Canned veggies
- Canned meats + fish
- Pasta, rice or cereal
Put it next to your mailbox before mail delivery on Saturday, May 14. Your letter carrier will pick it up and take it to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama.
4. Know why you’re giving
We all know the pandemic threw a wrench into life as we knew it, with lots of people losing their livelihood, their health or their loved ones. For two years, the traditional food drive was replaced by a donor drive, where people could make online donations to local food pantries.
Now that the drive is back, it’s an easy way for you to make a difference for your hungry neighbors.
5. Sign up for 2-hour volunteer shifts
According to Clark, the Letter Carriers Food Drive is a unique opportunity where civic and corporate groups come together to load trucks and sort food—and, it lasts for a month after the date of the actual food drive.
They always need help unloading, sorting, putting together food boxes and other tasks. Volunteers 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult.