The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will conduct its 25th annual national food drive on Saturday, May 13. The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, America’s largest single-day food drive, provides residents with an easy way to donate food to those in need in the community.
Here in the Coulee Region, the Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO (WWAFLCIO) will once again co-sponsor the NALC Letter Carriers Food Drive. We‘re looking forward to another successful year with your help! Last year’s Coulee Region total (in ‘546-zip codes’) was 124,225 pounds, down slightly from 2015’s total of 131,869 pounds, however – 2016’s was the second highest local total in the last five years.
Locally, letter carriers will take donated food to one of several local collection points to be unloaded by volunteers and reloaded into larger trucks for distribution to one of these local food organizations; Hunger Task Force of La Crosse, New Horizons Shelter, Onalaska Food Basket, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in La Crescent, or the WAFER Food Pantry. All food donations stay local.
Volunteering to assist the NALC at the Onalaska collection point are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 14 (IBEW). Members of other unions including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF); and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) will also be assisting their NALC brothers and sisters collecting and unloading food donations.
According to Feeding America, at least 29,000 Coulee Region residents don’t know where their next meal is coming from, and the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive comes at a critical point in the year. Pantry shelves filled up through winter-holiday generosity often are bare by late spring. And, with most school meal programs suspended during summer months, millions of children must find alternate sources of nutrition.
Letter carriers see these struggles in the communities they serve, and they believe it’s important to do what they can to help.
Local partners assisting the NALC in the food drive include: the U.S. Postal Service, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRLCA), the Great Rivers United Way (GRUW), and the Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO (WWAFLCIO).
Since the first national Food Drive in 1993, the Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has collected more than 1.5 billion pounds of food; last year’s drive brought in a record 80 million pounds of food.
The 280,000-member National Association of Letter Carriers represents letter carriers across the country employed by the U.S. Postal Service, along with retired letter carriers. Founded by Civil War veterans in 1889, the NALC is among the country’s oldest labor unions. The Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO was formed in 1903 to defend the principles of democracy and the rights of all who labor and to seek economic justice for all.