By Kathy L. Collins
The 22nd 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 10. Residents will receive a plastic bag in mailboxes to fill with non-expired non-perishable food and are asked to put in or near mailboxes early on Saturday, May 10.
Letter carriers from all over the greater Brandon area will be collecting the bags of food, then scores of volunteers from ECHO of Brandon will help sort the food.
“Too many people in this country are still going hungry every day,” said NALC President Fredric Rolando. “As letter carriers, we see this firsthand in just about every community we serve. But we aren’t the type of folks who simply move on to the next delivery and hope someone else will do something about it. Instead, for more than two decades now, our members have taken the lead in the effort to help solve this ongoing national problem.”
Stacey Efaw, Executive Director of ECHO said, “We are so grateful for the Annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive. It provides ECHO with approximately 40 percent of the non-perishable food that we need for the year.” Efaw added, “Despite some recovery in the economy, we are still seeing a high number of residents in need. This year in fact, ECHO added Thonotosassa (33592) to our service area. The support of the community in this year’s Postal Food Drive is needed more than ever.”
Each year ECHO serves over 16,000 residents, half of whom are children 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.
Residents can help someone in need by putting a can or two in the bag provided and then placing it by their mailboxes in the early hours of Saturday, May 10. The letter carriers volunteer for this extra work. Participants can make their jobs easier by separating canned goods from packaged goods. Residents are not limited to the bag left in their mailboxes and are welcome to use extra bags for additional donations as desired.
For more information on the food drive, visit www.nalc.org/commun/food drive. For more information on ECHO, visit www.echofl.org or call 685-0935.