TAMPA, Fla. - Letter carriers across the country are trying to stamp out hunger.
On Saturday, the 30th annual ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ food drive took place across the nation. It was the first time the event took place since before the pandemic.
"In 2019, we collected over 72 million pounds. Florida leads the country with over 11 million pounds collected in one day in 2019. The Tampa Bay Area has always been the most generous in Florida, with over three-and-a-half million pounds in 2019 and we want to beat that record," said Al Friedman, the President of the Florida Letter Carriers Union. "Go to your pantry, get a couple of canned goods, whatever you can put out, hang it on your mailbox, and these carriers behind me go pick up everything you leave out on the mailbox, we bring it back to this office and we give it to the local food banks."
Organizers say food donations seem to decrease in the summer months, but there’s still a huge need because kids rely on school meals for breakfast and lunch. Now, food banks are overwhelmed because of inflation rates.
"Kids are used to those consistent meals at school, breakfast and lunch, but then in the summer we do see families not being able to have that consistency in meals. So, organizations like ours step up and help produce those meals to those families," said Jonita Lewis from Hope Villages of America, a food bank that collaborates with the mail carriers association to make ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ happen.
It's not too late to participate. The union says mail carriers will collect food on Monday as well.