Arizona letter carriers will hold their annual food drive this Saturday, May 11.
Arizona residents are being asked to participate by placing nonperishable food in a bag near their mailbox prior to mail delivery Saturday, May 11. All of the food will be distributed to local food banks whose shelves are traditionally bare this time of year.
Last year, Arizona letter carriers collected more than 1.4 million pounds of food enough to provide approximately 430,000 meals for hungry Arizona children and adults. Statistics show that children eat 60 percent of all meals provided by the food bank, and that 40 percent of all meals are provided to the working poor. Nationwide, letter carriers collected 70.1 million pounds of food last year.
"As letter carriers we get to see, first-hand, the hardship and despair that denies families even the basic necessities of life," said Ken Roberts, Phoenix letter carrier and food drive coordinator for Branch 576 of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC). "It may mean a heavier mail satchel and maybe a few sore muscles, but the burden will be eased by known that our efforts will help feed families in need."
An extraordinary boost for the charitable effort comes annually from famed "Family Circus" cartoonist Bil Keane, who provides a special cartoon for use in promoting the drive. Keane's cartoon is featured in a postcard to be delivered to many Arizona homes the week of May 6 through May 11.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Letter Carriers' Food Drive, which is the largest single-day food drive in the nation, with letter carriers from hundreds of cities in all 50 states participating. The NALC is a postal labor union representing more than 300,000 members who have a long history of service to their communities.