Customers simply leave their donation of non-perishable goods next to their mailbox before the delivery of the mail on Saturday, May 12. Letter carriers will collect these food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes, and distribute them locally to River Bend Foodbank.
The Letter Carriers' food drive is held annually on the second Saturday in May in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states. “The timing is important, with food banks, pantries, and shelters running low on donations from the winter holidays and with summer approaching, when most school meal programs are suspended,” says Tyler Power, AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison for United Way of the Quad Cities Area.
On May 12, as they deliver mail, the nation's letter carriers will collect the donations that residents have left near their mail boxes. People are encouraged to fill the bag left in their mailbox or use a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, canned meats and fish, pasta, rice, or cereal next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery on Saturday.
“There is a growing consensus that Quad Citizens should never throw away food that could still be eaten by someone in need,” says Michael Miller, President & CEO of River Bend Foodbank. “We are very thankful to the postal workers and volunteers, and we encourage everyone to go through their pantries for any unopened foods they can contribute, especially if they are passed the #DonateDate on the package.”
Letter carriers see these struggles in the communities they serve, and believe that it is important to do what they can to help. “We deliver to every address in the Quad Cities six days a week, and because we’re such a consistent and familiar presence in neighborhoods, we’re all too familiar with the unfortunate reality of ongoing hunger,” says Tracey Bultnick, National Association of Letter Carriers Branch #292 Rock Island event coordinator.
Proud partners in this event include: United Way of the Quad Cities Area, Quad City Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Local Branches #3811 Bettendorf, #506 Davenport, #318 Moline, and #292 Rock Island, National Rural Letter Carriers Association, River Bend Foodbank, and United States Postal Service.