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Letter Carrier Food Drive for Food Bank of North Alabama
The area’s largest one-day food drive re-emerges Saturday! After a two-year hiatus, letter carriers will be collecting canned goods and other pantry staples left at the mailboxes of participating residents on Saturday, May 14, all to help our community.
“The Letter Carrier Food Drive is one of the easiest ways for members of the public to give back to their community and have an immediate impact on the lives of their neighbors,” said Food Bank of North Alabama CEO Shirley Schofield. “We can’t thank our letter carriers enough for helping ensure families get the meals they need this summer.”
All residents have to do is fill a bag with canned goods and place it at their mailbox. Some plastic bags will be arriving in mailboxes before Saturday, but any bag will work. If you don’t have a bag, just place the items safely near the mailbox.
The food drive has been on pause the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For our area, that has meant about 133,333 fewer meals being provided to families struggling with food insecurity, families who don’t have consistent, daily access to enough nutritious foods.
The annual drive typically is held in the spring to ensure food banks across the nation have food to sustain families through the summer months when food donations typically are low. The economic fallout of the pandemic, rising costs of groceries and gas, as well as supply chain challenges have put a strain on the Food Bank’s food supply.
“We actually just had to double our annual food purchasing budget to $1 million this week to ensure we can reach all those who need help,” Schofield said. “We can’t run the risk of not having food for those who need it.”
To embrace the return of this vital food drive, the Food Bank of North Alabama will have teams collecting and sorting the donated food as the letter carries end their mail routes.
Jennifer Nolf-Jean, the Vice President of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 462 in Huntsville, said that the Letter Carriers Food Drive is not only the largest national food drive but also an opportunity for letter carriers to give back to their communities.
“We take great pride in seeing the food bank filled to the brim,” Nolf-Jean said. “Many of our family members, friends, retirees and community members help collect and sort food for our residents in need. We feel great pride in being able to give back. We live for this day and after a long, hot and exhausting day of picking up all that food, we feel humbled by the generosity of our customers. They never disappoint us.”