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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 9, 2001

Postal service will pick up food donations on Saturday

Associated Press

On Saturday, letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America will do more than deliver mail when they walk and drive their postal routes. They'll also collect the goodness and compassion of postal customers, in the form of food donations.

Saturday has been set as the day for the ninth annual National Association of Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. The letter carriers' association (NALC) and co-sponsor Campbell's Soup say it's the nation's largest single-day food drive.

During the food drive, some 240,000 letter carriers across the country will collect participants' food donations.

It's easy and convenient to take part: Simply leave nonperishable food items next to your mailbox May 12, before the time of regular mail delivery. Your letter carrier will do the rest, collecting your donations and distributing them to local food banks and pantries. Last year the letter carriers distributed more than 64 million pounds of food nationwide.

To remind people about the drive, the U.S. Postal Service's Priority Mail and the Campbell Soup company will distribute postcards to more than 97 million homes announcing it. This mailing to generate awareness about the Stamp Out Hunger drive is one of the five largest mailings in the United States.

Why is all this worthwhile? According to the USDA, more than 31 million Americans suffer from hunger or don't know where their next meal will come from. And, according to Bread For the World, a nonprofit, anti-hunger organization, 19 million adults and 12 million children in the United States live in households that struggle to buy needed food, forcing families to eat nutritionally poor diets.

To help kick off the drive, Campbell's is donating 1 million pounds of food, to be presented at a ceremony in Atlanta today in the form of a giant mailbox filled with soup, for the NALC to distribute to food banks and pantries across the country.

• On the Web: www.nalc.org