Record 77.1 Million Pounds Collected in Letter Carriers' National Food Drive

Jun 01, 2010, 11:57 ET from National Association of Letter Carriers

Despite Lingering Effects of Economic Recession Citizens Boost Donations to 'Stamp Out Hunger'

Increases 18-year Total to More Than 1 Billion Pounds

WASHINGTON, June 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Americans donated a record 77.1 million pounds of non-perishable food to help 'Stamp Out Hunger' in their communities  this year in the annual Letter Carriers' National Food Drive, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) union announced today.

NALC President Fredric V. Rolando said 77,132,180 pounds of food were collected in the drive and delivered to local food banks, pantries and shelters to help needy families.  It is the nation's largest one-day effort to combat hunger.  The results of the May 8 effort easily eclipsed the previous record, set last year, of  73.4 million pounds.

The 18th annual drive boosted the total donations collected since the drive began in 1993 to more than 1 billion pounds -- 1,059,800,000  pounds.

"Despite the lingering effects of the recession, postal customers came through again this year in the continuing fight against hunger in America," Rolando said.  "Our members and the thousands of rural letter carriers and other volunteers were proud to deliver the generous donations from millions of caring citizens who wanted to help needy families in their communities."

The food was collected by letter carriers as they delivered mail along their postal routes in over 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions.

Tampa, Florida NALC Branch 599 collected 2,062,529 pounds to emerge as the top local union branch in the country, edging out  West Coast Florida Branch 1477, which includes St. Petersburg.  Buffalo/Western New York Branch 3 was third, followed by southern California's Garden Grove Branch 1100.

Rolando expressed appreciation to the union's national partners in the drive –  the U.S. Postal Service's Priority Mail, Campbell Soup Company, the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, Valpak Direct Marketing Systems, United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO, and the Feeding America food bank network.  Rolando also thanked "Family Circus" cartoonists Bil and Jeff Keane, who yearly provide special artwork, and actors David Arquette and Courteney Cox, television host Ryan Seacrest, and drag racing star Ashley Force Hood for their promotional support.

The 295,000-member NALC union represents active and retired city delivery letter carriers of the U.S. Postal Service throughout the nation.

SOURCE National Association of Letter Carriers