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Letter Carriers food drive coming May 11

April 29, 2013
Letter Carriers Food Drive

Largest one day food drive in the world
Place food by mailbox, Saturday, May 11

“The Food Drive gives everyone the chance to be part of something bigger than anything we could do alone. … Every can and package of food collected makes a difference in someone’s life.” – Shawneen Betha, Portland Postmaster

Help stamp out hunger. It’s easy. Simply place a bag of nonperishable food donations by your mailbox on the morning of Saturday, May 11, for the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Food Drive.

This is the one day of the year that everyone has the opportunity – with the help of letter carriers – to easily donate food to help families in need in their community.

The letter carriers food drive benefits the entire Oregon Food Bank Network, serving people who are hungry throughout Oregon plus Clark County, Wash.

In Oregon, more than 4,000 letter carriers in urban and rural areas will join the national effort to pick up food from postal customers.

“The Food Drive gives everyone the chance to be part of something bigger than anything we could do alone,” said Portland Postmaster Shawneen Betha. “It’s our Postal Service customers who really make the difference. Every can and package of food collected makes a difference in someone’s life. So together, I know we’ll make a difference with this year’s food drive and make sure no one goes hungry.”

 “So many of our neighbors struggle to put food on the table – seniors, children, parents working more than one low-income job. They need our help,” said Susannah Morgan, CEO, Oregon Food Bank. “The beauty of this food drive is that it brings our entire community together, and our amazing letter carriers make it so easy for all of us to help.”

Need remains high
Distribution of emergency food remains at record high levels. If hunger were a city, it would be the second largest city in Oregon. In average month, an estimated 270,000 people eat meals from an emergency food box in Oregon and Clark County, Wash.

“On behalf of the Postal Service, I am honored to partner with the National Association of Letter Carriers and all our employees who will participate in this year’s annual food drive,” Betha said. “As part of the community, our letter carriers see the need. They know the impact the economy has had on so many families.”

How to help:
1) Look for a yellow, plastic, degradable 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 11.

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

Most-wanted foods include:
• Shelf-stable milk,
• Food high in protein such as canned meats (i.e., tuna, chicken, salmon) and canned or dried beans,
• Foods high in nutrients, such as canned fruits and vegetables (preferably with reduced sodium and reduced sugar),
• Whole-grain foods such as brown rice, whole grain cereal and whole-wheat pasta,
• Soups, chilies and stews (preferably with reduced sodium and reduced fat),
• 100 percent fruit juice (canned, plastic or boxed),
• Unsaturated cooking oils,
• And other nutritious, “healthy-choice” foods (preferably with reduced fat, sodium and sugar).
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.

If you miss your letter carrier’s visit, May 11, drop off your food donations at any post office by Wednesday, May 15.

Adopt-a-Route. Oregon Food Bank is organizing Adopt-a-Route in the Portland metropolitan area. Well-identified volunteers will follow select postal routes to help pick up food.

“The need for emergency food continues to grow, so every year I enjoy trying to collect more food than the year before,” said Karon Carlson, who has been food-drive coordinator for letter carriers since 1999 and was 2012 Oregon Letter Carrier of the Year. “I encourage every Oregonian to put lots of food by their mail box on May 11,” she said.

Last year’s NALC Food Drive raised 1.3 million pounds of food throughout Oregon and southwest Washington. This year’s goal is 1.5 million pounds.

Since its inception, the NALC Food Drive has raised more than 20.4 million pounds to benefit the Oregon Food Bank Network.

National effort
The “Stamp Out Hunger” effort is the largest single-day food drive in the world. The NALC food drive has collected more than one-billion pounds of food nationally since the food drive’s inception in 1993.

Rural carriers have contributed to this drive for many years. This is the fourth year that National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA) has joined the event as a full national partner.

The NALC food drive is made possible by your local letter carriers, the U.S. Postal Service, Wells Fargo, Fred Meyer, Parklane Mattress and many Oregon unions and community organizations, including: National Association of Letter Carriers, Oregon AFCSME Council 75, Oregon AFL-CIO, National Postal Mail Handlers Union, SEIU Local 503, UFCW 555 and the Northwest Oregon Labor Council. 

Wells Fargo’s support helped fund the degradable bags, and hundreds of Wells Fargo employees will volunteer for this event throughout the region. In addition, Wells Fargo customers in Oregon can use Wells Fargo ATMs to make a cash donation to the Oregon Food Bank Network.

Trucking is donated by Fred Meyer, Daimler, Pacific Foods, YRC, Oak Harbor Freight, Maletis Beverage, Columbia Distributing, Pacific Coast Fruit, Pacific Service Center, CEVA International, Walter E Nelson Company and UPS Freight. Other supporters include the Oregon Food Bank Network.

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

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