Stamping out hunger one town at a time

From press release

Letter carriers in Rockford will “Stamp Out Hunger” Saturday, May 8, when the annual food drive starts its 18th year. On that day, letter carriers will collect non-perishable food donations from homes as they deliver mail along their routes.

The yearly event between the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and the United States Postal Service is the largest one-day food drive in the nation. This joint effort will help feed families in all 50 states. But closer to home, employees at the Rockford Post Office are getting ready to help break last year’s national record of 73.4 million pounds of food collected.

“With the support of our letter carriers, rural letter carriers, and postal and community partners, we plan on making a difference in helping to feed our hungry neighbors,” said Rockford Postmaster Ronald Calloway. “The generosity of our customers and the community has never been stronger. We’re ready to fill our mailbags with food.”

Donations across the country from this year’s event are expected to increase the total amount of food collected throughout the years to more than 1 billion pounds. The total currently is 982.7 million pounds. Last year, throughout northern Illinois, letter carriers collected more than 335,000 pounds of food.

NALC President Frederic Rolando said that as successful as the food drive has been in the past, it must be better this year because of the struggling economy.

“Millions and millions of families are suffering—struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table,” said Rolando. “Food banks, pantries and shelters need our help more than ever this year. As families count on them for support, they’re counting on us, and we will not back off on our commitment.”

Co-sponsors of the drive are Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network; United Way Worldwide and its local United Ways; the AFL-CIO; Valpak; and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association.

From the May 5-11, 2010 issue

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