You can help chip away at hunger in America by packing a bag of non-perishables Saturday morning, May 14, and leaving it at your mailbox.
Your hard-working mail carrier will deliver the bag to a local food bank, as part of the National Association of Letter Carriers' annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Since its start 30 years ago, Stamp Out Hunger has become the country’s largest one-day food drive, collecting nearly 2 billion pounds of food to date. This year, 10,000 communities in all 50 states are taking part, including D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
Food insecurity (not knowing where or when your next meal may come) is among the Top 3 needs that prompt people to call 211, the 24-7 resource supported by United Way that connects people to local resources. Hunger has long been a problem in America, but COVID, inflation and rising costs have made it even tougher. Some 60 million people in our country rely on food pantries, food banks and community programs to put food on the table, according to Feeding America.
United Way is a longtime partner of the National Association of Letter Carriers, and a founding partner of the Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Most United Ways support food banks and have anti-hunger efforts underway. United Way Worldwide also helps get food to people through its Ride United: Last Mile Delivery program (with DoorDash), which provides free deliveries of food boxes, meals, and essential items to community members in need.
“Six days a week, letter carriers see first-hand the needs in the communities where we work, and we’re committed to helping meet those needs,” says NALC President Frederic Rolando. "Letter carriers often go above and beyond their job descriptions as they protect and assist in the neighborhoods they serve. Each year, the NALC highlights acts of compassion and courage by letter carriers across the country; from donating a kidney to a former classmate, buying an air conditioner for a Korean War veteran, and creating a neighborhood supplies network during the COVID-19 lockdown. No one knows a neighborhood like its letter carrier, and this food drive is just one of many community service initiatives that these carriers take part in."
So on Saturday, fill up the bag left for you by your mail carrier with canned goods, cereal, dry milk, cereal bars, baby formula, boxed or canned juice, peanut butter, boxed instant food, pasta, rice, and dried beans. (If you haven't gotten a bag or a promotional Stamp Out Hunger post card in your mailbox, you may want to call your local Post Office to make surer they're participating.)
And if you want to help eradicate hunger all year long, connect with your local United Way to find out how to get involved.
Caroline Powell, a former intern with United Way Worldwide's labor team, also contributed to this blog.