The National Association of Letter Carriers annual “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive is coming Saturday, May 11. The nation’s largest one-day food drive will help restock local emergency foodshelves across the country.

“We’re asking everyone to put food out by their mailbox early Saturday morning, May 11, and letter carriers will come and pick it up,” said Samantha Hartwig, food drive coordinator for NALC Branch 9 in Minneapolis.

Earlier in the week, your letter carrier will drop off a bag which you can use for the food items you wish to donate.

According to the NALC website, “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 & cheese, canned protein (tuna, chicken and turkey), beans (canned or dry). You also can donate healthy, low-sodium, low-sugar items such as beans, oatmeal and other whole grains, and canola or olive oil.”

The food collected will be delivered to Second Harvest Heartland for distribution to local emergency foodshelves.

If you won’t be home May 11 or wish to donate cash, Land O’Lakes again this year will be providing a match of up to $25,000 for all cash donations. Donate online at 2harvest.org.

Cub Foods is a major sponsor of the food drive and letter carriers will be bringing the food they collect to waiting trucks at 11 Cub stores in the Minneapolis area.

“If you want to buy some food at Cub on food drive day, you can go right there and drop it off,” Hartwig suggested.

“Whatever works, we’ll take the food, we’ll take the cash, we’ll take the food at Cub.”

If you want to volunteer May 11 to help at the Cub Foods sites, visit 2harvest.org to sign-up.

“It’s a great opportunity for high school kids who need community service credit to graduate,” Hartwig said.

Again this year, local unions will be adopting Cub Foods sites and staffing them with union volunteers.

“This is the 27th year of the food drive,” Hartwig reported. “The need is not going away.”

The food drive is particularly timely, Hartwig said, because it helps restock foodshelves just before school gets out for the summer. She pointed out, “a lot of times, families who get free and reduced lunches during the school year, they don’t have that during the summer months so they rely on the foodshelves to feed their families.”

Letter carriers walk their neighborhood routes every day. “We see what’s going in every community,” Hartwig said. “We see the need.”

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