WASHINGTON, July 12, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 26th annual food drive by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), held on Saturday, May 12, collected 71.6 million pounds of food. The 2018 food drive marks the 15th consecutive year that the combined efforts of letter carriers, partners and volunteers have resulted in the collection of more than 70 million pounds of food.
"Every day on our routes, letter carriers see the struggles many people have with providing for their basic needs. We are honored to be able to contribute to the families and the communities we serve by helping millions of Americans who otherwise would face hunger," Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said.
Hunger affects about 1 in 6 people around the country, including millions of children, senior citizens and military veterans.
The Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive is the country's largest single-day food drive. It is held annually on the second Saturday in May in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Customers simply leave their donation of non-perishable goods in paper bags next to their mailbox before the delivery of the mail that day. The nation's letter carriers collect the food donations and distribute them to local food agencies.
The timing is important, with food banks, pantries and shelters running low on donations from the winter holidays and with summer looming, when most school meal programs are suspended.
Several national partners assisted the NALC in this year's food drive: the U.S. Postal Service, the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union, the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO, Valpak and Valassis.
Since it began in 1993, the national food drive has collected 1.671 billion pounds of food.
The 279,000-member National Association of Letter Carriers represents letter carriers across the country employed by the U.S. Postal Service, along with retired letter carriers. Founded by Civil War veterans in 1889, the NALC is among the country's oldest labor unions.