Columbia, SC - COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) – The United States Postal Service is gearing up for the nation's largest annual food drive.
The annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Food Drive, along with the Postal Service, is hoping to raise enough food to feed families in all 50 states. Letter carriers will be collecting non-perishable donations from homes as they deliver mail along their routes on May 8 to help "Stamp out Hunger," in the largest one-day food drive in the nation.
"With the commitment and dedication of thousands of letter carriers, rural letter carriers, and postal and community volunteers, plus the involvement of our corporate partners, we will make a difference in helping to feed America's hungry and surpass the 2009 record of 73.4 million pounds of food collected," said PMG Jack Potter. "The generosity of our customers and the determination of our employees have never been stronger."
Donations from this year's event are expected to push the overall total since the annual drive began 18 years ago to more than 1 billion pounds. The total currently is 982.7 million pounds.
"South Carolina's unemployment is still in double digits this year, with some counties as high as 20 percent, so the need is greater than ever. Please remember to give," said South Carolina NALC President, Cosmo Baccomo. "As usual, this year, we'll have assistance from our Rural Carriers throughout the state and our three major food banks, Harvest Hope Food Bank in the Midlands, Lowcountry Food Bank in Charleston and Upstate Food Bank in Greenville. With their help last year, we brought home over 1 million pounds of food. And the great thing about it is that it benefits the people within the community where it is donated."
To join in the effort and make a donation, customers can leave their non-perishable food donations in a bag near their mailbox on May 8 before their letter carriers arrive. They will collect the donations during normal deliveries.
Most-wanted foods include:
- Canned meats (tuna, chicken, salmon),
- Canned and boxed meals (soup, chili, stew, macaroni and cheese),
- Canned or dried beans and peas (black, pinto, lentils),
- Pasta, rice cereal,
- Canned fruits,
- 100 percent fruit juice (canned, plastic or boxed),
- Canned vegetables,
- Cooking oil,
- Boxed cooking mixes (pancake, breads).
- rusty or unlabeled cans,
- glass containers,
- perishable items,
- homemade items,
- noncommercial canned or packaged items, • alcoholic beverages, • mixes or soda, • open or used items.
More than 125 million postcards — designed for the first time by the Postal Service and co-sponsored by the Campbell Soup Company — will be mailed to customers to remind them of the drive.