Last year, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) National Food Drive reached an impressive milestone: more than 1 billion pounds of food collected over the past seventeen years. This is an incredible accomplishment, and a testament to the dedication and commitment of a strong network working together for individuals and families in need throughout the United States. Notably, this was the result of partnerships and effort throughout all our communities.
We are pleased to announce that United Way will continue to partner with the NALC National Food Drive in 2011. This is one way we show our appreciation for the important partnership between United Way and the NALC. This effort is a tremendous example of working with organized labor to advance the common good in communities throughout the United States.
The 2011 NALC National Food Drive will take place on Saturday, May 14, 2011.
Facts about the NALC National Food Drive
- The 300,000-member National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), which represents city delivery letter carriers in all 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions, conducts the world’s largest one-day food drive each year on the second Saturday in May.
- NALC President Fredric V. Rolando announced that the 19th annual NALC National Food Drive will be conducted on Saturday, May 14, 2011. Prime co-sponsors of the drive are the U.S. Postal Service, United Way, the AFL-CIO, and Feeding America.
- The Campbell Soup Company and the U.S. Postal Service will jointly provide over 120 million full-color postcard flyers for mailing to homes in participating communities just before the drive to encourage donations. In addition, for the sixth year, Valpak direct marketing systems will promote the drive on more than 44 million envelope packets.
- In 2010, the drive collected 77.1 million pounds of food-the seventh consecutive year above 70 million-and delivered the donations to local community food banks, pantries and shelters. Almost 1,500 NALC local branches participated.
- The effort began in 1991 when the NALC, with the support of the U.S. Postal Service and the AFL-CIO, conducted a 10- city pilot program as a “first step” in developing a coordinated, same-day nationwide food drive. Over 290 tons of food were collected in those 10 cities. The drive was not held in 1992 as plans were being developed to expand the effort nationwide.
- In 1993, the drive expanded to 200 NALC branches in all 50 states, covering more than 1,000 communities. A record 12 million pounds (6,000 tons) of non-perishable food donations were collected by city carriers, with help from their rural carrier counterparts in many communities.
- The NALC, through Linda Giordano, Community Services Coordinator of the drive and a long-time United Way volunteer, invited United Way Worldwide (UWW) to become a full partner in this endeavor in 1994. United Way accepted.
- The drive has continued to flourish ever since, expanding the number of cities and towns involved to over 10,000 communities.
- The simplicity and efficiency of the drive are what makes it work: It is held annually on the second Saturday in May; it’s promoted via flyers, press conferences, various media, etc.; donations are collected in participating communities by letter carriers along their mail routes (except in New York City and Chicago where donations are received at post offices), and it comes at a time when most food banks have depleted the donations received in end-of-the-year holiday drives.
- United Way Worldwide endorses the drive at the national level and encourages state and local United Ways to use their marketing skills and media connections to publicize and promote the drive.