For almost three decades, the National Association of Letter Carriers has hosted “Stamp Out Hunger,” an event focused on collecting nonperishable food donations to support the programs that help keep kids fed through the summer months. The event is typically held on the second Saturday in May, when donors fill paper bags (provided by letter carriers) with food items and leave them at their doors or mailboxes to be picked up. Thanks to dedicated partners, such as the Central Alabama Labor Federation, Central Alabama Building and Construction Trades and government employees, Stamp Out Hunger has been particularly successful in Central Alabama, where donations in 2019 set a record of more than 245,000 pounds of collected food.
This year, however, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Stamp Out Hunger faced an unprecedented challenge.
“For a typical event, the number of times the food is handled every day is really tremendous,” said David Clark, Labor Liaison at United Way Hands On. “The letter carrier brings it back to the post office, then it’s reloaded and transported to a food bank, where it’s unloaded and sorted. For such a large scale, we just couldn’t do that while also maintaining social distancing practices.”
Like many events, Stamp Out Hunger is going digital to keep everyone safe and healthy. But how does a nonperishable food drive move to an online format? Simple: instead of relying on canned goods and other physical donations, the National Association of Letter Carriers is asking community members to donate money for food instead.
“Instead of the bags the letter carriers usually bring, we’re having posters printed,” said Clark. “And we’re really trying to get the word out through media channels. Hopefully, that will bring in the normal number of donations.”
To learn more about Stamp Out Hunger and helping feed our area’s children in need, visit the National Association of Letter Carriers’ website. You can support this year’s Stamp Out Hunger campaign by donating to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, a United Way of Central Alabama partner agency dedicated making hope happen when we all LIVE UNITED.