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‘A labor of love’

Stamp Out Hunger results reported

Mark Santa Cruz, an Upland, CA, letter carrier, collects donations during this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Image: Chris Miller

USPS employees collected 75.7 million pounds of food during this year’s Stamp Out Hunger drive, the third-highest total in the campaign’s 27-year history.

The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), which leads the annual one-day food drive, reported the results last week.

“This is a labor of love for letter carriers, and we are proud to see how it has grown in impact over the years,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “It’s an honor to be able to help people in need all across the country — and to do so in a way that brings out the best in so many Americans.”

Approximately 40 million people in the United States struggle with hunger, including about 12 million children, according to Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization.

During Stamp Out Hunger, employees collect donations that are distributed to local food banks and pantries.

The drive is held in the spring when many schools are preparing to suspend their breakfast and lunch programs for the summer, leaving millions of kids struggling to find alternative sources of nutrition.

This year’s Stamp Out Hunger drive took place May 11.

More than 2.3 million pounds of food were collected in San Juan, PR, the national leader in donations for 2019.

Other leaders included Los Angeles and Central Florida, where employees each collected more than 2 million pounds.

“We take this seriously,” said John Rivera, a retired letter carrier who serves as an NALC local president in Puerto Rico.

Employees in San Juan began promoting the food drive more than one month in advance. The efforts included 55 radio interviews and 20 television interviews.

“We’ve got a lot of people who get together on this. It was really good,” Rivera said.

This year’s donations bring the total amount of food collected since the drive began to about 1.75 billion pounds.

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