By Christine Evans, Community Outreach Coordinator
On Saturday, May 12, families and residents all over Delaware helped Stamp Out Hunger for the 20th annual Letter Carriers’ Postal Food Drive.
The National Association of Letter Carriers’ Postal Food Drive was first held in 1993. It has since grown to be the nation’s largest single-day food drive! On the day of the drive, residents place a bag filled with non-perishable food items by their mailbox. The letter carriers then collect the bags with the day’s mail and bring it to the Food Bank to be sorted and distributed to those in need. Last year a record breaking 77.1 million pounds were collected nationwide and Delaware postal customers donated more than 85,000 pounds alone.
This year the FBD set out to break last year’s Postal Food Drive poundage record with the help of seven sponsors and Delaware’s letter carriers. In an effort to increase donations made through the Postal Food Drive, the Food Bank of Delaware distributed more than 376,800 plastic donation bags to Delaware homes a week before the Stamp Out Hunger event. Other food banks across the country have found that the plastic bags help to increase donations by up to fifty percent!
Thank you to these companies for sponsoring the bags!
- Agilent Technologies
- ARS Fleet
- Harvey Hannah
- TD Bank
The plastic bags proved to be an enormous success, as donations from this year’s Postal Food Drive increased by 232% over last year! The total poundage collected came to an astounding 202,652 pounds.
I had the pleasure of volunteering at the post office on Governor Printz Boulevard on May 12 and the amount of food brought in by the postal workers was overwhelming! In only two-and-a-half hours we filled all 13 totes on our tractor trailer and there were still more than 25 postal workers that had not dropped off their food yet! Some workers said they collected between two and six times more food this year compared to last year, and many had to drop off the donations half way through their route to make more room!
The increase in donations to this food drive came at the perfect time of the year! During the holiday months food drive donations are at their highest levels, but once the holidays are over, our food drive numbers drop significantly. Check out the chart showing the total pounds of food donated by month in 2011!
Unfortunately, the need for food assistance in Delaware remains high throughout the year. Thanks to all the United States Postal Service and all of those who participated, the FBD will be able to provide more than 81,061 meals to the 241,600 Delawareans in need of food assistance! We cannot tell you how much we appreciate your commitment to the fight against hunger!
Check out some more photos from the Postal Food Drive!