Nation’s Largest One-Day Food Drive on May 9 Gives Postal Service Customers the Opportunity to Alleviate Hunger in South Florida and on the Treasure Coast
On Saturday, May 9, Feeding America™ Food Banks around the country, including Feeding South Florida™ and Treasure Coast Food Bank, will join letter carriers and area residents to fight hunger in SouthFlorida and on the Treasure Coast with the 23rd annual Stamp Out Hunger, the nation’s largest one-day food drive. Also participating in the local effort are United Way of Palm Beach County and Palm Beach County Food Bank.
To participate in Stamp Out Hunger, postal service customers in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee Counties will simply place a bag of non-perishable food by their mailboxes,which letter carriers will pick up during mail delivery.
Stamp Out Hunger is conducted by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) in cooperation with the U.S. Postal Service. Letter carriers in more than 10,000 communities across America will pick up donated food items when they service their postal routes on May 9. In 2014, Stamp Out Hunger collected more than 72.5 million pounds of food donations nationwide, bringing the grand total from more than two decades of collections to over 1 billion pounds.
In 2014, letter carriers from branch 1690 in Palm Beach County collected and donated approximately 91,000 pounds of food to Feeding South Florida, and letter carriers in Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee Counties collected and donated 125,000 pounds of food on the Treasure Coast. Caring citizens can help letter carriers, Feeding SouthFlorida and Treasure Coast Food Bank plus United Way of Palm Beach County and Palm Beach County Food Bank top these numbers in 2015.
Suggested donations include:
- Canned meats such as tuna, salmon, chicken, turkey and ham
- Canned chunky soups and stews
- Canned beans, fruits and vegetables
- New, unopened plastic containers of peanut butter and jelly
- Dry goods such as cereal, rice and coffee
Items collected in Palm Beach County will be sorted at Feeding South Florida headquarters and distributed to its Palm Beach County partner agencies. Items collected on the Treasure Coast will be delivered to Treasure Coast Food Bank’s distribution center at 401 Angle Road in Fort Pierce, where they will be sorted and distributed to food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens. This food will provide nourishment for families, children, older adults, people with special needs, veterans and the homeless population, some of whom represent the newly unemployed.
Residents can also help on May 9 by volunteering to sort food collected by the letter carriers. Volunteers are needed for afternoon and evening shifts, and must be at least 16 years of age. To volunteer with Feeding South Florida, contact Sibyl Brown, volunteer coordinator at 954.518.1838 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To volunteer with Treasure Coast Food Bank, contact Gary Porter at 772.489.3034 x 15 email@example.com.
Despite the generosity of millions of Americans who have supported the letter carriers’ food drive in previousyears, the need for food assistance has never been greater. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 49 million Americans are living in food insecure homes. Nearly 872,000 of them live in South Florida, and 97,640 of them live on the Treasure Coast. Feeding South Florida serves approximately 350 partner agencies in four counties, and Treasure Coast Food Bank serves over 250 partner agencies in four counties.
Stamp Out Hunger also sustains area soup kitchens and food pantries during decreasing summer donations. Many nonprofit organizations experience bare shelves during the summer, a crucial time due to the lack of school meal programs for the 287,650 children who are food insecure in South Florida, and 33,340 children who are food insecure on the Treasure Coast.
“Stamp Out Hunger provides local residents with a very simple and inexpensive way to alleviate hunger,” said Feeding South Florida president and CEO Paco Vélez. “We hope to top last year’s food donations to meet the increasing needs of those who are hungry in our area.”
“We’re so thankful to everyone who puts out food for the letter carriers during Stamp Out Hunger,” said Treasure Coast Food Bank CEO Judith Cruz. “The donated food from the Treasure Coast postal customers guarantees that our over 250 partners throughout the Treasure Coast will have additional food for the families they serve.”
NALC President Fredric Rolando said, “Such a massive effort is nearly impossible for us to pull off alone, which is why NALC is extremely grateful for the support we received from our national and regional food drive partners.”
For more information about the annual Stamp Out Hunger effort in your community, ask your letter carrier, contact your local post office, visit either www.nalc.org or www.facebook.com/StampOutHunger, or follow the drive at www.twitter.com/StampOutHunger.
About Feeding South Florida
Feeding South Florida’s mission is to end hunger in South Florida by providing immediate access to nutritious food, leading hunger and poverty advocacy efforts, and transforming lives through innovative programming and education. Feeding South Florida™ is one of 202 member food banks in the Feeding America™ network, the sole Feeding America food bank in South Florida, and the largest food bank in the state, serving 30 percent of the state’s food insecure population. Through a local network of approximately 325 nonprofit partner agencies, Feeding South Florida distributes almost 37 million pounds of food annually, serving 871,920 individuals in need of food assistance, 287,650 of whom are children, and 150,000 are older adults, throughout Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. For more information, visit www.feedingsouthflorida.org or call 954.518.1818.
About Treasure Coast Food Bank
Treasure Coast Food Bank is the largest hunger relief agency on the Treasure Coast, providing millions of pounds of food to over 250 charitable organizations in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee Counties serving those in need. In addition to food distribution, Treasure Coast Food Bank provides numerous programs that not only solve the immediate problems of hunger, but help individuals and families gain long-term food security. For more information on Treasure Coast Food Bank, call www.stophunger.org, visit our Facebookpage at facebook.com/tcfoodbank, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/tcfoodbank.
About The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)
The NALC represents letter carriers across the country. Its 280,000 members make it the largest of the four unions representing employees of the United States Postal Service. Founded by Civil War veterans in 1889, the NALC is among the country’s oldest labor unions. For more information, visithttp://nalc.org/commun/foodrive/index.html.