This winter’s harsh snowy weather presented Long Islanders with many challenges including on many days, the inability to get to work. And while some were able to get by using personal and snow days, others weren’t so lucky and experienced weekly reductions in their paychecks causing an inability to have a sufficient amount of food in their homes to feed their families. That’s why this year’s annual National Association of Letter Carriers “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive to Benefit Island Harvest is so important.
Here’s how it works: On Saturday, May 9, U.S. Postal Service letter carriers across the country will visit homes and businesses in every town in America to collect food for what is the nation’s largest food drive. Long Islanders are being asked to set out nonperishable food by their mailboxes, which will then be picked up by their letter carriers while delivering the day’s mail. The letter carriers will then deliver their collected food to an Island Harvest “Stamp Out Hunger” warehouse—where an army of volunteers will sort food to be distributed immediately to Island Harvest’s network of 570 member agencies, including food pantries and soup kitchens throughout Long Island.
“We encourage parents to get their children involved in making donations on May 9. Go through your pantry together, explain the need to support your neighbors. Our goal is for every family to donate something,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest. “Stamp Out Hunger makes donating easy. While the letter carriers do all of the day’s heavy lifting, all people have to do is leave their donation by their mailbox.”
Since the inception of Stamp Out Hunger in 1992, more than 1.3 billion pounds of food have been collected by U.S. letter carriers. Locally, last year Long Islanders banded together and donated more than 326,000 pounds of food and this year, Island Harvest expects a similar amount to be collected by letter carriers on 2,219 carrier routes across Long Island.
“The most trusted federal employees, U.S. Postal Service letter carriers are routinely involved in many community outreach initiatives, and often, form very close relationships with their customers,” said Walter Barton, President, NALC. “It is this connection they have within their communities that compels them to want to help make a difference.”
Stamp Out Hunger is the nation’s largest food drive that has been taking place now for 23 years.
“Stop and Shop is pleased to be a grand sponsor of Stamp Out Hunger and support this important initiative, along with the National Association of Letter Carriers and the United States Postal Service to benefit Island Harvest Food Bank. We look forward to a very successful event, raising over 300,000 pounds of food to support the Long Island community,” said Arlene Putterman, manager of public and community relations for Stop and Shop.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to be working with the NALC and Island Harvest to help make a difference on Long Island,” said Lorraine Castellano, Long Island District Manager for the U.S. Postal Service. “This year, we have 2,219 carrier routes that will be participating in the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive to benefit Island Harvest, an effort that will certainly touch many lives.”
“This is it. The day to make a difference. If ever you’ve thought about helping your community, the time is now. Be a part of something big,” Shubin Dresner said.