News release from the United Way of Allen County:
Local Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Collects More than Half a Million Pounds of Food
Fort Wayne-Area Collects More than Any Other Indiana Community
(June 28, 2011) – Recently released statistics show that the Fort Wayne-area collected more than half a million pounds of food during the recent May 14 Stamp Out Hunger Letter Carriers’ Food Drive. Area letter carriers, schools and residents contributed 534,373 pounds of food this year. The Fort Wayne-area collected more than any other Indiana community, surpassing Indianapolis by more than 260,000 pounds.
Nationally, the Stamp Out Hunger Letter Carriers’ Food Drive collected 70.2 million pounds of food. All food collected locally is distributed to food pantries throughout the region, many of which are served by the Associated Churches Food Bank.
Donations locally, and across the United States, were down slightly this year, perhaps due to tough economic conditions. Last year, both the Fort Wayne-area and National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) had record collections; more than 620,000 pounds were collected locally and 77.1 million pounds were collected nationally.
“Six days a week, letter carriers see first-hand the needs in our community,” said Milton Gray, local chair of the Stamp Out Hunger Letter Carriers’ Food Drive. “I’m so proud of our letter carriers, our volunteers and all the local residents who helped us provide food that is needed by so many of our neighbors.”
“New census data shows that 14.6 percent of Allen County residents live in poverty – that’s higher than the state and the nation,” said Todd Stephenson, CEO of United Way of Allen County. “Efforts like the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive are crucial to helping these residents who are struggling.”
The NALC’s annual one-day drive, largest in the nation, is held on the second Saturday in May in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. This was the 19th annual NALC Food Drive to stamp out hunger. Non-perishable donations residents left near their mail boxes were collected by the nation’s 230,000 letter carriers as they delivered mail.
Assisting 1,400 local NALC branches were rural letter carriers and other postal employees, plus members of other unions and civic volunteers. Other national partners were Campbell Soup Co., the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, Valpak, the U.S. Postal Service, United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO and Uncle Bob’s Self Storage. Locally, Associated Churches Food Bank and United Way of Allen County are partners in the effort.