The next Stamp Out Hunger food drive always takes place on the second Saturday each May!
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.
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. In 2019, the drive collected 22,728 pounds of food in New London County or the equivalent of nearly 19,000 meals for families facing hunger.
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.
Many thanks to the following funders for their grant support of the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center:
Bodenwein Foundation, Centreville Bank, Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, Charter Oak Federal Credit Union, Chelsea Groton Bank, Citizen's Bank, City of New London Community Development Block Grant, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Dime Bank, Dominion, EFSP – CARES, Emergency Food and Shelter Program, Eversource, Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, Jewett City Savings Bank, Ledyard Rotary Foundation, Liberty Bank, MDA-UAW Local 571, Mystic Rotary, New London Telephone Employees' CSF, Niantic Rotary, Pfizer Inc. ShopRite, and Swindells Charitable Foundation