You can upload photos from this year’s Food Drive by dragging and dropping the files into a special Hightail “cloud” folder—no user name or password required. Once you get on the site, it’s self explanatory.
Letter carriers try to touch every single mail box in America during the Food Drive, but the fact is that we do admittedly miss some. The Food Drive takes place in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America. It’s an effort to raise national awareness about the real, ongoing problem of hunger in every community, and it’s a sincere attempt to use our unique delivery network to do something about it. Please note, though, that participation is strictly voluntary, and no system is perfect—oversights will occur.
If your donation is not picked up, contact your local post office or simply place your donation by your mailbox on Monday instead.
(Letter carriers will be picking up missed donations on Monday, too.) And of course, your local food banks and pantries will gratefully accept your donation in person. In any case, we are deeply thankful for your generosity and are truly sorry for any inconvenience.
As much as we would like every letter carrier to take part—and a sizable majority of them do—some letter carriers as well as some post offices opt not to take part in the national Food Drive, for a variety of reasons. Note that letter carrier participation in the Food Drive is strictly voluntary.
Yes—all food stays in your local community. It’s not shipped off to some regional distribution center hundreds of miles away. If you want to know where your donation is going, call your local post office and ask to speak to your local food drive person.
All locals must have their results mailed in to the Letter Carriers’ national headquarters in Washington, DC, by the end of May. Typically, the tabulated results are expected to be revealed sometime in mid-June.
All donations to the Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive are tax-deductible because all of the food collected on Food Drive Day is given directly to non-profit charity food agencies in the community the food was collected.
Though the National Association of Letter Carriers plans the Food Drive’s logistics and letter carriers provide the transportation for each donor’s generous donation, the National Association of Letter carriers is not the agency that gets listed on tax forms for claiming deductions.
There are more than 10,000 food agencies throughout the country that receive these donations, so if you itemize your taxes and want to provide proper credit for your Food Drive donations, you will need to determine the name of the agency (food pantry or other charity) that received your food, as well as the agency’s address and tax identification number for proper reporting on your tax-filing forms.
The Food Drive Coordinator at your local post office (click here for a post office locator) should be able to give you the name of the receiving agency, and that agency will likely have tax information handy.
If you would like to volunteer with food distribution and sorting, or in any other capacity, call your local post office and ask to speak to the local food drive person there. Many food banks have a great need for volunteers on Food Drive Day as well as all throughout the year.
On the second Saturday of May, just set out your non-perishable food well before your letter carrier’s normal pick-up time. The earlier the better! Note that he or she will be delivering and collecting mail as usual, on top of collecting food donations, so that pickup time could be slightly later than usual. Your letter carrier might also have helpers. A good rule of thumb is to have the bags by your mailbox by 9 a.m.
Please consider donating non-perishable food. The top requested non-perishable food items are: cereal, pasta, pasta sauce or spaghetti sauce, rice, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meals (such as soups, chili and pasta), 100% juice, peanut butter, macaroni & cheese, canned protein (tuna, chicken and turkey), beans (canned or dry). You also can donate healthy, low-sodium, low-sugar items such as beans, oatmeal and other whole grains, and canola or olive oil.
Please do not donate frozen food, homemade food or home-canned items. Please do not donate items that have expired or are in glass containers. In keeping with good food-handling and food-safety procedures, food that is opened, damaged, out of code or does not have the official ingredients included will be discarded by the food bank in the sorting process.
You’ve heard of the Postal Service’s unofficial motto: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. So, of course your letter carrier will pick up and deliver your mail as usual on Food Drive Day, no matter what the weather may be.
And food, too! Note that plastic bags tend to hold up better in wet weather, and that most plastic bags are recyclable. But if your jurisdiction has banned plastic bags, then please consider using a reusable shopping bag instead.
Note that all jurisdictions with bag bans provide exemptions for charities.
No! No special bags are needed. Paper is sturdy and tends to hold more food, while plastic holds up better if it gets wet (in the rain, etc.). Cloth bags or boxes are also fine. So it’s your choice. And most bags and boxes can be easily recycled. Your letter carrier will gladly take anything you leave out!
A number of letter carrier locals have entered partnerships with sponsors to provide specially marked “Food Drive” bags that get mailed to customers. These sponsorships help defray the costs associated with making the bags and mailing them. Plus, some sponsors have also backed bag distributions as well in certain regions of the country. So bag distribution isn’t national—at least not yet. And you can always use your own bags or boxes.
The Food Drive is primarily a people-food food drive, but if you also want to give pet food in addition to your regular donation, food banks may be able to distribute or direct it to pet shelters and organizations in the area that have a need.
Yes, but please do not donate any form of individual baby food products (including formula, jarred vegetables and fruits, meals, snacks, infant cereal). Baby food may be donated by the case or pallet, but single item donations present potential contamination risks and special handling requirements.
The Food Drive is primarily, well, a food drive, but if you also want to give personal care items (such as diapers, laundry detergent, soap, toilet paper and household cleaning items) in addition to your regular donation, food banks may be able to distribute or put them to good use with organizations that also provide help to those in need. Please note that not all food banks will be able to accept these items.
Stamp Out Hunger® is a registered trademark of the National Association of Letter Carriers and may not be used or reproduced without prior written permission of the National Association of Letter Carriers.