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Letter Carrier's Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day

The largest one-day food drive in the United States, the Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, is held each year on the second Saturday in May. More than 10,000 communities participate as letter carriers collect food donations. This convenient way for citizens to donate food is organized by the National Association of Letters Carriers (NALC), who are members of the AFL-CIO. Almost 1,500 NALC branches take part, and rural letter carriers, other letter carriers, and volunteers are also involved. Non-perishable food items are left near mailboxes, and letter carriers pick them up when delivering mail. There are also drop-off spots at post offices. The food is sorted and delivered to food banks, pantries, and shelters.

Discussions for a food drive were held in 1991, and a pilot drive was held in ten cities in October of that year. Because of its success, plans were made to expand the drive to a national campaign. It was decided that late spring would be the best time for the drive, since that is the time of the year when donations from Thanksgiving and Christmas are running low. Accordingly, the first Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive was held on May 15, 1993. The goal was to have at least one NALC branch in each of the 50 states take part, and this was surpassed markedly when 220 branches did so. A one-day record for food donations in the United States was made that day when over 11 million pounds of food were collected. By 2010, over 1 billion pounds of food had been collected in total, and the number has continued to rise in the years since.

How to Observe Letter Carrier's Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day

Place non-perishable food items in a box, can, or bag and leave them next to your mailbox before your mail is delivered today. They will be picked up by your letter carrier and brought to a food bank or pantry. Canned soup, canned vegetables or fruit, canned meat or fish, pasta, rice, and cereal are some of the most common items donated. Check online for information about this year's event, media resources, and materials for food drive coordinators. Stay up-to-date by following the Stamp Out Hunger Facebook and Twitter pages.

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