/PRNewswire/ -- Letter carriers across the country will collect non-perishable food donations Saturday (May 8) as they deliver mail along their postal routes in the nation's largest one-day effort to Stamp Out Hunger.
Donations will be collected along postal routes in more than 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and the District of Columbia.
The 18th annual Letter Carriers' National Food Drive is being conducted by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) with the assistance of rural letter carriers and other postal employees and volunteers. The postal union is seeking to exceed last year's record 73.4 million pounds of food delivered to community food banks and pantries. It also anticipates breaking the one billion-pound mark in total donations since the humanitarian effort began in 1993.
NALC President Fredric V. Rolando said the donations from postal customers will help millions of American families who have been hurt by the nation's lingering economic difficulties. The drive is especially important at this time for families with children who rely on school lunch programs for nutrition, since most of them are suspended during the summer months.
"Food banks and pantries are in dire need this year as more and more families seek assistance to provide sufficient food for their dinner table," Rolando said. "Many are working families who find that their income simply will not stretch enough to meet all their housing, clothing, medical and nutritional needs."
The public should leave non-perishable food donations - such as canned meat and fish, soup, cereals, pasta and rice - in a bag near their mailbox on Saturday before their letter carrier arrives. Glass containers and items with expired dates should be avoided. (In New York City, residents are asked to take their donations to their local post office).
Over 126 million postcards, sponsored by the Campbell Soup Company and the U.S. Postal Service's Priority Mail, have been mailed to postal customers to remind them of the drive. Other national partners are the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, Valpak, United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO and the Feeding America food bank network.
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