BANGOR, Maine – United Way of Eastern Maine, AARP of Maine and The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will set out for their annual “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive on Saturday, May 11.
Letter carriers, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, will collect non-perishable donations directly from mailboxes as they deliver mail along their postal routes. This year marks the 21st anniversary of the national food drive.
Approximately 48,000 people in Eastern Maine face hunger this year.
The 21st annual NALC National Food Drive to “Stamp Out Hunger” is the largest one-day food drive in the nation. It is held annually on the second Saturday in May in more than 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.
Last year, carriers in Eastern Maine collected 81,688 pounds of food in last year’s drive, which provided 62,836 individual meals at a cash value of $104,309, according to United Way. This year they hope to raise between 90,000 and 100,000 pounds of food.
Donations will be collected by more than 1,400 local branches of the 295,000-member postal union and delivered to food banks, pantries and shelters that serve the communities where they are collected. Assisting in the effort are rural letter carriers and other postal employees, as well as members of other unions and thousands of civic volunteers. If you’d like to volunteer, contact your local area food pantry or post office.
“Hunger impacts our community in many ways,” United Way president, John Kuropchak said. “Food banks, pantries and shelters need our help on Saturday May 11. Let’s make a commitment to a healthier future for everyone.”
Local Eastern Maine Partners include, NALC Branch 391, United Way of Eastern Maine, Boy Scouts Troop 6, AARP of Maine and dozens of area food pantries and community volunteers.
Participants are encouraged to leave their bags of food out early on Saturday, May 11, as volunteers assisting the Letter Carriers often start early in the morning. Post offices also will have collection boxes the week leading up to the drive. Any questions about the drive can be answered by a local letter carrier or a local post office or by calling United Way at 941-2800.
- 14.8 percent of Maine households are a risk or facing hunger. That’s over 195,000 people and 1 in 5 are under the age of 18.
- Hunger is as much a problem of working-class and middle-class people as it is a challenge faced by the poor.
- Many families report choosing between food or paying for other necessities such as fuel, rent and medicine.