The National Association of Letter Carriers’ (NALC) annual “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive — the biggest single food drive in the U.S. — collected 70.6 million pounds of food nationwide on May 14, just short of the all-time yearly record set in 2010, the union said.
NALC President Fredric Rolando thanked postal customers for chipping in so generously and his union’s members for collecting the food. It went to local food pantries, soup kitchens and similar food services. Some 50 million people, one-third of them children, depend on those organizations.
“Six days a week, Letter Carriers see first-hand the needs in communities. We’re privileged to be able to help the needy and to lead an effort that brings out the best in so many Americans,” Rolando said. “The slight downturn is related to the tough economy, which makes the drive all the more important.”
That’s especially true in summer months, when schools are closed and federally-provided breakfasts and lunches are unavailable for needy children, added NALC Community Service Director Linda Giordano, the food drive coordinator.
Preliminary union figures show NALC West Coast Florida Branch 1477 led all branches, collecting 1,770,814 pounds of food. It was followed by Branch 599 in Tampa (1,729,382 pounds), Branch 458 in Oklahoma City (1,485,118), Branch 3 in Buffalo (1,383,220), and Branch 1100 in Garden Grove, Calif. (1,112,083). NALC Branch 82 in Portland brought in 557,513 pounds of food. Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, 1.4 million pounds of food was collected.