Special delivery: Donate food for the hungry by leaving non-perishable items by your mailbox on May 8.
BY RODOLFO ROMAN
Special to The Miami Herald
Letter carriers will have an extra assignment in May: Collect non-perishable food to benefit those in need.
People across the country are encouraged to place a bag of non-perishable food by their mailboxes on May 8 for the 18th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive.
Letter carriers will be picking up the donated food during regular mail delivery on that day.
The National Association of Letter Carriers, along with the United States Postal Service, has teamed up with the nonprofit Feeding South Florida for the food drive.
“This service by the postal carriers provides hundreds of thousands of meals for those in need in our community, and we are thrilled to distribute this food on behalf of the carriers,” said Judith Gatti, executive director of Feeding South Florida.
South Florida won’t be the only area taking part. More than 10,000 cities in the country participate.
According to Feeding South Florida, the organization serves 800 not-for-profits in four counties and demand for food services has increased by 39 percent since the economy took a hit.
Last year, letter carriers collected approximately 850,000 pounds of food for Feeding South Florida.
Formerly known as the Daily Bread Food Bank, the nonprofit recently moved to a new 112,000-square-foot facility in Pembroke Park.
The collected food will be distributed to food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Canned foods such as tuna, beans, fruits and vegetables are accepted. Unopened containers of peanut butter and jelly can also be donated.
“It’s such a simple gesture that, collectively, will truly help our neighbors in need,” said Laurie Miale, vice president of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 1071 in Miami.
For information on how to volunteer with the food distribution, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.