This past Saturday I had the pleasure of working at a US Postal Service substation for the annual National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger food drive. This is the largest single-day food drive in the country every year and it relies on all kinds of people to come together to pull it off. From the hardworking Letter Carriers who fit the food collection into their normal hours while on their routes that day, to volunteers who give up part of their Saturday to stand, schlep, sort and sweat, to Food Bank staff who put in an extra day that week, to the US Postal Service who approve delivery of the collection bags and use of their facilities, to sponsors like Campbell’s Soup Company and AARP and the coordination of our national organization Feeding America and, most-importantly, to donors across the country who take the time to put food out that day.
Below is a photo from the main post office right in the middle of Albuquerque where I and my husband spent the day. As you can see, we were out in the open and we were keeping a close eye on the rain clouds all afternoon. While we agreed we all wanted rain, we just didn’t want it to fall on us until we were done, and it didn’t!
The main post office is in a mostly commercial area with few residences, so it isn’t usually the biggest collection site. The food, however, is just as precious to a grateful person who will be receiving it in the coming weeks. The volunteers and staff you see here helped the Letter Carriers unload their trucks then did a simple pre-sort into the large cardboard totes. Over the coming weeks, more volunteers will help further sort this food so we can get it into the hands of people who need it as quickly as possible. Overall, this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive brought in 194,875 pounds of desperately-needed food – a huge accomplishment for everyone who helped. A big and enthusiastic “thank you” to everyone involved. This kind of event really brings out the best in our community.
Stephanie Miller is the Director of Development for Roadrunner Food Bank.