A letter from Mary Anne Hughes, Executive Director:
While we are all making our plans for Mother’s Day, I’d just like to remind everyone of their chance to make a big difference for people in need on the day before.
Saturday, May 11th is the day for the 21st annual Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.
Letter carriers walk through the community every day, coming face to face with a sad reality for too many; hunger. Taking part in the food drive is easy. Your letter carrier will pick up your donations when they deliver your mail. All you have to do is leave non-perishable food items at your mailbox, and the letter carriers will do the rest. Best of all, the food collected will go directly to food pantries right here in San Benito County, helping our friends and neighbors in need. And the donations couldn’t come at a better time.
By springtime, our local food bank, like others are depleted following the harsh winter months and school assistance programs are not available for children. When we were growing up, Mom always told us to “eat!” Sadly, in these hard economic times, that is not always possible for everyone. Please help us and leave non-perishable food donations by your mailbox on Saturday, May 11th for the Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.
Mom would be proud and those in need will be very grateful.
Mary Anne Hughes
Community Food Bank of SBC
Hollister CA 95023
BIRTH OF THE FOOD DRIVE
The NALC Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is the outgrowth of a tradition of community service exhibited by members of the NALC over the last 124 years. Carriers who go into neighborhoods in every town six days a week, have always been involved when something needed to be done. Whether it was collecting funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), watching over the elderly through the Carrier Alert Program, assisting victims of natural disasters, or rescuing victims of fires, crime, and other mishaps, letter carriers are the eyes, ears, and often life savers, in the community. Over history, a number of branches collected food for the needy as part of their community service effort. Discussions were held by the NALC, USPS, and AFL‑CIO to explore a more coordinated effort. A pilot drive was held in October 1991. It proved so successful the parties worked to make it a nationwide effort. Food banks and pantries suggested that late spring would be the best time for the drive, since most of their food donations are received over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday periods. In addition, school breakfast and lunch programs are not available during the summer.
A revamped drive was organized for the second Saturday in May 1993, with a goal of at least one NALC local branch participating in each of the 50 states. The results were astounding. Over 11 million pounds of food was collected by over 220 union branches — a one day record in the United States. From Alaska to Florida and Maine to Hawaii letter carriers did double duty — delivering the mail and picking up donations. In 2012 NALC branches collected 70 million pounds of food for a cumulative total of over 1.2 Billion pounds — an awesome achievement.
We look forward to another record breaking 21st year in 2013 as we work to
Stamp Out Hunger in America!
Community Food Bank’s mission is to provide food, nutritional education and advocacy for our neighbors in need within San Benito County.