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Letter Carriers Food Drive, Saturday, May 8

April 23, 2010
Fill a bag with food and place it by your mailbox, May 8

PORTLAND, Ore. — Help stamp out hunger! It’s easy. Simply place nonperishable food donations by your mailbox on the morning of Saturday, May 8, for the National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive.

“This is always my favorite day of the year to deliver mail,” says letter carrier Darcy Nolan. “We deliver to every neighborhood in Oregon, so we see the need first hand. That’s why we encourage all of our customers to give generously on NALC Food Drive day. It’s my proudest day as a letter carrier.”

More than 4,200 urban and rural letter carriers throughout Oregon and Clark County, Wash., will join with letter carriers across America to collect donations of nonperishable food from their postal customers during the National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive, Saturday, May 8.

For the first time this year, Wells Fargo is sponsoring the food drive in Oregon and southwest Washington. More than 800 Wells Fargo team members are expected to volunteer for the event.

“The National Association of Letter Carriers provides a critical source of much needed nutritious, shelf-stable food,” says Rachel Bristol, executive director and CEO of Oregon Food Bank. “This drive is especially important during these difficult economic times when so many of our neighbors have lost their jobs, savings and homes. I encourage everyone to participate in this important, one-day food drive.”

The need for emergency food has hit record highs during this recession. A U.S.D.A Report, based on census data, ranks Oregon number two in the nation in hunger (very low food security).

The goal of the Oregon Food Bank Network is to collect 2-million pounds of food during the letter carriers food. Last year’s NALC Food Drive raised more than 1.65-million pounds of food throughout Oregon and southwest Washington.

How to help:

1) Look for a yellow, plastic food drive bag in your mail during the first week of May.

2) Fill the bag (or any sturdy bag) with nutritious, nonperishable food. The Oregon Food Bank Network will recycle your bag.

3) Place it by your mailbox early on Saturday, May 8.

4) If you are a Wells Fargo customer, you can also donate cash at any Wells Fargo ATM in Oregon and southwest Washington by pushing the “Donate to Charity” button on the ATM screen.

All donated food stays in the community where it was collected.

Letter carriers will collect nonperishable food donations left by mailboxes and take them to their local post office, where more than a thousand volunteers throughout Oregon and Clark County will pack the food. Trucks will pick up the food and deliver it to regional food banks of the Oregon Food Bank Network.

If you miss your letter carrier’s daily visit, drop off your food donations at any post office by Wednesday, May 12.

The “Stamp Out Hunger” effort is the nation’s largest single-day food drive. This year, the drive aims is to break one-billion pounds of food collected nationally since the food drive’s inception in 1993. Last year, letter carriers across the country collected a record of more than 73.4-million pounds of food.

In Oregon, always a bit ahead of the curve, letter carriers in Eugene started a food drive five years before the national effort began. This marks the 23rd year that letter carriers have collected food in Oregon. Since 1999, the food drive has raised more than 15-million pounds in Oregon and southwest Washington.

Most-wanted nonperishable 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 baking mixes.

Please NO
Rusty or unlabeled cans, glass containers, perishable items, homemade items, noncommercial canned or packaged items, alcoholic beverages, mixes or soda, open or used items.

The Need
Distribution of emergency food and the number of people served throughout the OFB Network escalated to historic highs during fiscal year 2008-09, and the need remains alarmingly high. Distribution of emergency food boxes increased 14 percent from 786,000 in 2007-08 to 897,000 in 2008-09. In an average month, more than 240,000 people eat meals from emergency food boxes. That’s the equivalent of 12 sold-out Rose Garden arenas – each month.

From July – December 2009, emergency food requests continued to grow by an average of 4 percent statewide with Washington County experiencing the largest surge in need at 34 percent followed by Coos and Curry counties where the need rose 17 percent over the same period in 2008.

Support
The NALC food drive is made possible by Wells Fargo, the U.S. Postal Service and many Oregon unions and other organizations including: National Association of Letter Carriers, Priority Mail, Oregon AFCSME Council 75, Oregon AFL-CIO, Oregon Rural Letter Carriers Association, National Postal Mail Handlers Union, AFSCME Local 88, SEIU Local 503, UFCW 555, International Association of Fire Fighters.

Trucking is donated by Oak Harbor Freight, Columbia Distributing, Maletis Beverage, Pacific Coast Fruit, Pepsi Beverage Company, Pacific Service Center, CEVA International, Walter E Nelson Company, Courier Direct and UPS Freight.

Other supporters include: the Oregon Food Bank Network and OregonLive.com.

About the Oregon Food Bank Network
The Oregon Food Bank Network is a cooperative statewide coalition of 20 regional food banks working to eliminate hunger and its root causes by distributing donated food to agencies serving low-income people and through advocacy and public education about the underlying causes of hunger.

For more information, call 1 (800) 777-7427 or (503) 282-0555 or visit wwww.oregonfoodbank.org.
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