The nation’s largest one day food drive is coming up Saturday, May 12 and your job is simple: Place a bag of non-perishable food items near your mailbox that morning. Your letter carrier will pick it up. The food collected that day will help restock the Twin Cities’ local emergency foodshelves.
“If everybody gives a little, it totals up to the largest one-day food drive in the nation,” noted Darrell Maus, vice president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 9 in Minneapolis.
Last year, the NALC “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive yielded more than 71 million pounds of food across the U.S. — including 1.2 million pounds in the Twin Cities.
“The need is always high for our food drive,” NALC Branch 9’s Maus observed. “Students are getting out of school and the foodshelves get hit so hard,” he said, because kids from needy families aren’t getting breakfast and lunch at school.
NALC’s local food drive partner, Second Harvest Heartland, reports that more than half a million people visit foodshelves, with children representing one-third of the people helped while seniors are the fastest-growing segment of the population visiting food shelves.
The week before May 12, watch for a postcard in your mailbox bringing a reminder about the food drive.
Your letter carrier also will drop off a blue plastic bag.
“All you have to do is just fill the bag up and put it by your mailbox Saturday, May 12. We’ll pick it up,” Maus said.
“The carriers realize it’s extra work,” Maus said, adding “everybody’s in such a high spirit because they know the difference they’re making.”
The United Food and Commercial Workers are again supporting NALC in the food drive. UFCW Local 653 is printing 100,000 paper grocery bags with a message promoting the food drive.
The bags will be distributed to shoppers at Cub Foods stores in the days leading up to the food drive.
UFCW Local 653 volunteers also will be helping to staff two of the many selected Cub Foods sites where union members and other community volunteers will be helping to unload letter carriers’ trucks and transfer the donated food into larger trucks.
At these selected Cub Foods locations, you also can donate a bag of food for the food drive.
You also can support the food drive, if you prefer, with a cash donation.
Between May 1 and May 16, Land O’Lakes will be matching up to $25,000 in cash donations to the NALC food drive.
To donate, visit www.2harvest.org/stampouthunger.
You also can visit this link to sign up to volunteer on the day of the May 12 food drive. Youth ages eight years and older, accompanied by an adult, are welcome to volunteer.
“This largest one-day food drive would not be accomplished if it weren’t for the support of our letter carriers and our corporate sponsors and the public who get involved,” NALC Branch 9’s Maus said. “Thanks for everybody’s dedication and support for this effort.”
Note sure what items to donate? The top requested non-perishable food items are: cereal, pasta, pasta sauce or spaghetti sauce, rice, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meals (such as soups, chili and pasta), 100 percent juice, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, canned protein (tuna, chicken and turkey), beans (canned or dry). You also can donate items such as beans, oatmeal and other whole grains, and canola or olive oil.