U.S. Postal Service, letter carriers to host Stamp Out Hunger drive May 13

With the help of sponsors, volunteer organizations and Postal Service employees in 10,000 communities nationwide, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will conduct its 31st annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, May 13.  

Stamp Out Hunger has become the nation’s largest one-day campaign to collect food for distribution to families in need. In 2021 the pandemic caused a disruption in the collection program. In 2022 the program resumed, and more than 41 million pounds of food was collected.

Since its inception, the program has collected more than 1.82 billion pounds of non-perishable food for communities throughout the U.S. and in Puerto Rico, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Food insecurity affects more than 34 million people, including 9 million children and 5.2 million seniors, in the United States.

In Washington more than 638,000 people — one in 12 — are food insecure. And of that number more than 203,000, or one in eight, are children. To put it a different way 49%, nearly half, of all households in the state are affected by food insecurity.

The lack of consistent access to enough food is reported highest in households with children, BIPOC households, and households with low income residents and renters. And not all food insecure households qualify for federal assistance programs, instead turning to local food banks for help.

Donating is easy. Customers should leave their non-perishable food donations in a bag near their mailbox on Saturday, May 13, before their letter carrier arrives. Food collected during Saturday’s drive will be delivered to local Washington community churches, food banks and food pantries for distribution.

Customers can also donate online directly to their local food bank. A list of more than 40 Washington state community food banks can be found on the NALC website.

While all non-perishable donations are welcome, foods that are high in protein such as canned tuna, salmon, beans and peanut butter are most needed. Canned fruits and vegetables, whole grain, low-sugar cereals, macaroni and cheese dinners and 100% fruit juice also top the list of most-needed items.

The food drive is held annually in late spring because most of the food banks’ donations are received and distributed between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The food collected now will help organizations through the summer months, which can be especially hard for kids when school breakfast and lunch programs are not available.

For additional information about this year’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, visit nalc.org/community-service/food-drive.

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