The next Stamp Out Hunger food drive will be on Saturday, May 12, 2018!
The 300,000-member National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), which represents city delivery letter carriers in all 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions, conducts the world's largest one-day food drive each year on the second Saturday in May. Primary co-sponsors of the drive are the U.S. Postal Service, United Way, the AFL-CIO, and Feeding America.
In 2017, 29,742 pounds of food was collected in New London County which equals nearly 25,000 meals. All post offices within the county participated in the drive. Nationally, the drive collected 74 million pounds of food.
The drive comes at a critical time when most food banks are experiencing depleted donations as food donated during the holiday seasons has diminished and just before demand increases due to the summer school break.
Stamp Out Hunger began in 1991 when the NALC, with the support of the U.S. Postal Service and the AFL-CIO, conducted a ten-city pilot program as a first step in developing a coordinated, same-day nationwide food drive. More than 290 tons of food were collected in those ten cities. The drive was not held in 1992 as plans were developed to expand the effort nationwide. In 1993, the drive expanded to 200 NALC branches in all 50 states, covering more than 1,000 communities. A record 12 million pounds of non-perishable food donations were collected by city carriers, with help from their rural carrier counterparts. In 1994, United Way Worldwide was invited to become a full partner in this effort. The drive has flourised ever since, expanding the number of cities and towns involved to more than 10,000.
The simplicity and efficiency of the drive are what make it work. It is held annually on the second Saturday in May and promoted in a variety of ways including the distribution of millions of postcards, delivered to homes in participating communities just prior to the drive to encourage donations. Food donations are collected by the letter carriers along their usual mail routes that Saturday, and all food collected is then delivered to a local food center for distribution by union volunteers.
All food donated in New London County benefits the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center and its member food pantries.