Stamp Out Hunger in the San Fernando Valley
5.3.17 – If your Stamp Out Hunger bag hasn’t arrived in the mail yet, you may not have remembered that it’s just around the corner! This year’s food drive will be on May 13th, and we hope that you can help us Stamp Out Hunger in the San Fernando Valley and across Southern California.
What is Stamp Out Hunger?
Stamp Out Hunger is an annual food drive run by the National Association of Letter Carriers. It takes place on the second Saturday of May, when postal workers collect non-perishable food items from people in 10,000 cities and towns across the United States, and deliver it to nearby food banks and pantries.
You may have seen the familiar Stamp Out Hunger bags, which NALC delivers to residences in the week leading up to the event, but the fact is that postal service employees will collect donations of food in any bag (or even a box!). Each post office partners with a local food bank or pantry to deliver the food collected locally.
How Did Stamp Out Hunger Get Started?
Stamp Out Hunger has collected over 1 billion pounds since it started over 25 years ago, in 1991. It is an AMAZING example of collaboration between labor unions, government, and the nonprofit sector. The first Stamp Out Hunger drive came out of a discussion between leaders representing the United States Postal Service, the National Association of Letter Carriers (the union of USPS employees), and the AFL-CIO (the federal organization of labor unions), who piloted a drive in 10 cities across the US.
Though the first drive took place in October, nonprofit leaders convinced the NALC to move it to late spring, when holiday period donations tend to run out and leave food banks and pantries in need of extra sources of food for clients. The first spring-time Stamp Out Hunger drive, in May of 1993, set a record for the greatest amount of food ever collected in one day in the United States.
How can you participate?
You can donate by placing non-perishable food items in a container and leaving it by your mailbox on Saturday, May 13th, before your regular USPS delivery and pick-up time (they suggest having all food out by 9 am to be safe). AND, if you want to volunteer that Saturday, we’d love to have you join us! We’ll be at the Van Nuys Post Office, sorting and boxing donations of food that will all be delivered to MEND Poverty in Pacoima.
What happens to the food?
Each Post Office that participates in Stamp Out Hunger works with a local food bank or pantry that is able to accept the donations of non-perishables and get it to folks within that community. Much of the food donated in the San Fernando Valley will go to MEND Poverty, one of our incredible partner Receiving Agencies, who provides food and an enormous range of other services to tens of thousands of clients every month.