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.

Volunteer at Stamp Out Hunger!

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.

Volunteers collect donations at Stamp Out Hunger

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.

Volunteer at Stamp Out Hunger!

Volunteer at Stamp Out Hunger in Van Nuys

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.

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2 thoughts on “Stamp Out Hunger in the San Fernando Valley”

  1. Diane Taylor says:

    I placed my bag on my porch about 1 foot from my mailbox and my post person never picked it up. It was out by 10am and I noticed he picked up my neighbors.

  2. joe says:

    Sorry to hear that! If they missed the bag on Monday as well, and you haven’t already, we suggest reaching out to a local food pantry to see if they might be able to accept the donation. The NALC has this written on the Stamp Out Hunger website:

    “Letter carriers try to touch every single mail box in America during the Food Drive, but the fact is that we do admittedly miss some. The Food Drive takes place in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America. It’s an effort to raise national awareness about the real, ongoing problem of hunger in every community, and it’s a sincere attempt to use our unique delivery network to do something about it. Please note, though, that participation is strictly voluntary, and no system is perfect—oversights will occur.

    If your donation is not picked up, contact your local post office or simply place your donation by your mailbox on Monday instead.

    (Letter carriers will be picking up missed donations on Monday, too.) And of course, your local food banks and pantries will gratefully accept your donation in person. In any case, we are deeply thankful for your generosity and are truly sorry for any inconvenience.”

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