Long Islanders donate to annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive

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USPS letter carrier Rich Lepis with bags of donated food collected along his route as part of the Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

Thanks to the generosity of United States Postal Service customers across Nassau and Suffolk counties, 520,014 pounds of food was recently donated to help Long Islanders who struggle with hunger and food insecurity.

The effort was part of last month’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive, the nation’s largest single-day food drive that took place on Saturday, May 11. Nationally, 76.1 million pounds of food were collected by letter carriers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam, bringing the total to more than 1.75 billion pounds of food donated since the food drive began in 1993. Last year, generous Long Islanders donated 313,566 pounds of food to Stamp Out Hunger.

Stamp Out Hunger, now in its 27th year, is an initiative of the National Association of Letter Carriers, the USPS, and hunger relief organizations across the country. Each year, on the second Saturday in May, USPS letter carriers collect non-perishable food left by the mailboxes of benevolent postal customers, which in turn, helps stock the shelves of local food pantries, soup kitchens, and other feeding programs. Locally, all food collected on Long Island benefits Island Harvest Food Bank, the region’s leading hunger-relief organization, which serves a network of approximately 450 community-based nonprofits.

“Stamp Out Hunger is a vital food collection event since it comes just ahead of the summer when local food pantries and other feeding programs typically see a decline in food donations and often have difficulty providing food support for the people they serve,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest Food Bank. “Thanks to the generosity of Long Islanders who donated to this cause, the hard work by the members of the local National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 6000, and our corporate sponsors, we’re able to continue to provide food for our neighbors facing hunger and food insecurity.”

This year’s local corporate sponsors of the Stamp Out Hunger food drive were Altice, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Long Island Federation of Labor, National Grid, New York & Atlantic Railway, Orchard Estate of Woodbury, Stop & Shop, Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees, and Whole Foods.

If you didn’t get the chance to participate in this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive, it’s not too late to get involved. For more information on donating, head to islandharvest.org.

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