Despite the difficult economic times throughout the nation, Americans donated a record 73.4 million pounds of non-perishable food in the Letter Carriers National Food Drive to restock community food banks and pantries in the nation's largest one-day effort to combat hunger, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) announced today.
The food was collected by letter carriers on May 9 as they delivered mail along their postal routes in over 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions. It is the nation's largest one-day effort to"Stamp Out Hunger."
NALC President William H. Young expressed profound appreciation to the millions of Americans who left food by their mailboxes and the thousands of letter carriers, rural carriers, and other postal employees and volunteers who collected, processed, and delivered the donations to local food banks and pantries.
"This is an amazing testimony to the generosity of the American people even as they themselves struggle to make ends meet in these hard times," Young said."Our members take pride in being able to serve their postal customers and help them assist millions of needy Americans, including many working families, children and the elderly."
Final results showed 73,414,533 pounds of non-perishable food were collected in the traditional event on the second Saturday in May, a slight increase over the previous record of 73.1 million pounds set in 2008. It was the sixth consecutive year above 70 million pounds and brought the total for the drive's 17 years to over 982 million pounds of food.
West Coast Florida NALC Branch 1477, headquartered in the St. Petersburg area, collected 1,755,689 pounds of donations to take top honors for the second consecutive year among the more than 1,400 local NALC branches that conducted food drives. Buffalo/Western New York NALC Branch 3 came in second in the nation.
Young expressed appreciation to the union's national partners in the drive – the U.S. Postal Service's Priority Mail, Campbell Soup Company, Valpak Direct Marketing Systems, United Way of America and local United Ways, the AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions, the Feeding America food bank network and"Family Circus" cartoonist Bil Keane, who yearly provides special promotional artwork. Young also thanked Valassis Communications for its Red Plum circulars promoting the drive and to the Harlem Globetrotters, actors David Arquette and Courteney Cox, and celebrity host Ryan Seacrest for their promotional support.
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Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.