More than 49 million people- including 16.7 million children- live in households that are hungry or are at risk of hunger- a figure representing more than 1 in 7 households in the country (USDA).
Members of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) successfully completed their 18th annual food drive as they pushed their total donation to local food banks and pantries nationwide to over 1 billion pounds. Virginia’s NALC members picked up and delivered loads of food assistance left at mailboxes to those in need all across the Commonwealth.
The “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive is the largest one-day food drive in the nation and comes at a time when millions of Americans are struggling to put food on the table.
NALC chooses this time of year because it’s often when donations from the holiday season are beginning to run out and these donations can re-stock local food banks for months.
For over 10 years, Curtis Glasper has been Branch 3520’s coordinator for the food drive.
As a coordinator, Curtis registers the branch with the National NALC at the beginning of the year. This allows National to send out nearly 500,000 post card notifications to Curtis who distributes them to area post offices which get delivered the week of the drive.
On the day of the food drive, Branch 3520 coordinated with local churches, Fairfax’s Food 4 Others and the Arlington Food Assistance Center to arrange pick ups and drop offs of the donated food. Before the food is distributed, post offices consolidate and weigh the donations. This year, Branch 3520 collected over 135,000 lbs of food.
Curtis says he volunteers his time because “it’s gratifying to know that I’m making a tangible difference in my community.”
Adding, “the carriers look forward to doing it- it’s about devoting one day of what we do to help out our neighbors and take part in something that nationally has a huge impact.”
Finally, “we collect a lot of food and it’s great to see it all- tons and tons of food-and it’s great knowing it’s going to families to help them get through a tough time. Even one can is helpful because it all adds up.”
We’d like to thank all of our NALC brothers and sisters for their participation this year and a special thanks to the following Virginia local branch food drive coordinators:
Branch 567- Alexandria- Brian McCormick
Branch 4581- Altavista- Kenneth Moore
Branch 3520- Arlington- Curtis Glasper
Branch 3508- Big Stone Gap- James Holcomb
Branch 4276- Blacksburg- Bruce Shepherd
Branch 807- Bristol- Sherri L. Hinkle
Branch 518- Charlottesville- Brenda Farrell
Branch 4989- Chincoteague- George Tripp
Branch 4292- Christiansburg- James Mann
Branch 595- Danville- Mel Bennett
Branch 685- Fredericksburg- Paula Schenemann
Branch 3621- Galax- Marcus Ogle
Branch 2153- Hopewell- Kim Collamer
Branch 325- Lynchburg- John P. Sosa
Branch 609- Newport News- Dorcella Canady
Branch 456- Norfolk- Gerald Smith
Branch 3387- Norton- Charlie Hobbs
Branch 326- Petersburg- Ray Levine
Branch 3686- Radford- Tom Simpkins
Branch 5457- Richlands- Thurman Wilson
Branch 496- Richmond- Ronald E. Hinton, Sr.
Branch 524- Roanoke- Steven Young
Branch 1605- Salem- James Duke Logan
Branch 5447- Smithfield- J. Mark Edwards
Branch 3170- South Boston- Elijah Moorefield, Jr.
Branch 4798- Springfield- Kit Oliva
Branch 513- Staunton- Tom Miller
Branch 3379- Strasburg- Robert Spiker, Jr.
Branch 1112- Suffolk- Marc Adams
Branch 4575- Tazewell- Harry Sheets
Branch 247- Tidewater (Hampton)- Carrie Carter
Branch 2819- Virginia Beach- Robert Lassiter
Branch 694- Winchester- Bobby Jett
Branch 5921- Woodbridge- Bobby L. Peters
Branch 3376- Woodstock- Mike Reynolds