By Kathy L. Collins

The 21st Annual National Association of Letter Carriers’ (NALC) Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive (also known as the Postal Food Drive) will be held on Saturday, May 11. When you receive a plastic bag in your mailbox (bags courtesy of Publix), fill it with non-perishable food (check to make certain that it has not expired) and put it in or near your mailbox early on Saturday, May 11.

Letter Carriers from all over the greater Brandon area will be collecting the bags of food and then scores of volunteers from ECHO of Brandon will sort the food.

Tina Cochrane, the Dunedin Postmaster who is filling in as the Acting Brandon Postmaster said, “With the economy as it is, there is a real need for food. There is a great need to help the less fortunate, and the letter carriers understand this need.”

Cochrane added, “The Post Office and the Letter Carriers are committed to helping not only the people on their route, but the community as a whole.”

Stacey Efaw, Executive Director of ECHO said, “We are so grateful for the Annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive. It provides ECHO with approximately forty percent of the non-perishable food that we need for the year.”

Both City Carriers and Rural Carriers participate in this food drive. Heather Stephens, a Rural Carrier who covers the Providence Rd./Sterling Ranch area said, “I think the annual food drive is great. It is for a great cause, and it makes you feel good when you collect a lot of food.”

Each year ECHO serves over 10,000 residents who have suffered an emergency by providing them with much needed food and clothing assistance.  ECHO cannot fulfill its mission without the help of the community.

All residents can help someone in need by participating in the 20th Annual NALC’s Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive. All you have to do is put a can or two in the bag and put it by your mailbox in the early hours of Saturday, May 11.

Additionally, ECHO needs volunteers to help sort food on both Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12. If you are interested, please visit and sign up to volunteer or call 685-0935.

For more information on the annual food drive, please visit


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