By Brooke Curley
SAFFORD – This Saturday, letter carriers will not only deliver the mail but also hope, dressed in the form of food donations as part of the Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive. The letter carriers will do the heavy lifting, but they are counting on the community to help them bring a little slice of goodness into the life of those in need.
For 25 years, the local post offices in the Gila Valley have banded together to benefit local food banks on one day of pick up and delivery.
On Saturday, May 13th, the local United States Postal Service (USPS) will pick up food items to be donated to Our Neighbor’s Farm & Pantry food bank. Anyone interested in donating the extra food in their kitchens to the pantry need only leave their non-perishable food items for the post office mail carriers to pick up in or on their post boxes. If an individual picks up their mail from a community box, food may be left on or near the box for the mail carrier to collect. All of the food collected will be weighed and then donated to the Our Neighbor’s Farm & Pantry food bank. Local donations will be given to those who need it locally. On Saturday, the post office will also accept food donations at their open locations as well.
Wendy Zweiapher, USPS letter carrier, told Gila Valley Central that all the food collected from the community will be returned to the community.
“Everything stays here locally,” Zweiapher said.
Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive
Every second Saturday in May, letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America collect the goodness and compassion of their postal customers, who participate in the NALC Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive — the largest one-day food drive in the nation.
Led by letter carriers represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers (AFL-CIO), with help from rural letter carriers, other postal employees and other volunteers, the drive has delivered more than one billion pounds of food the past 24 years.
Carriers collect non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes and in post offices and deliver them to local community food banks, pantries, and shelters. Nearly 1,500 NALC branches in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands are involved.
The United States Postal Service, National Association of Letter Carriers, National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, AFL-CIO, Feeding America, United Way, Valassis and Valpak Direct Marketing Systems are all supporting this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive.
To donate, just place a box or can of non-perishable food next to your mailbox before your letter carrier delivers mail on the second Saturday in May. The carrier will do the rest. The food is sorted, and delivered to an area food bank or pantry, where it is available for needy families. With 49 million people facing hunger every day in America, including nearly 16 million children, this drive is one way you can help those in your own city or town who need help.