Tampa, Fla. – The Stamp Out Hunger® food drive returns this spring on Saturday, May 14, 2022, and for the fifth year in a row Metropolitan Ministries will work together with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) as the official 2022 Florida benefiting nonprofit for Hillsborough County.
For 30 years, NALC has conducted an annual nationwide food drive, the largest one-day food drive in the country, collecting non-perishable food donations along postal routes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NALC’s efforts over the past two years took a different approach, utilizing online fundraising strategies to ensure the needs of communities were still met as best it could. However, this year, The Stamp Out Hunger® food drive is back in full effect.
“This is an important year with many pantries and kitchens struggling to keep up with the increasing demand to feed families,” said NALC Branch 999 President Tony Diaz. “All of our letter carriers are excited for the opportunity to make a difference as we look to fill those empty shelves in Hillsborough County that is so desperately needed.”
The local NALC has named Metropolitan Ministries as this year’s benefiting local nonprofit for the food drive, stating, “The decision to partner with Metro was an easy choice. Keeping the food in our community and being a big part of Metro’s wonderful work in the Tampa Bay area is important to us.”
Metropolitan Ministries’ mission is to care for at-risk and homeless families by providing many services, including food assistance.
“This food drive could not have come at a better time,”
said Metropolitan Ministries President and CEO Tim Marks. “After providing two years of COVID relief and a demanding holiday season our shelves are nearly bare, and we need the community’s help to feed hungry families in the Tampa Bay area.”
In 2019, NALC collected and donated 126,359 lbs. of food to Metropolitan Ministries that Marks says, “helped them greatly through the remainder of the year and into Metro’s holiday season.”
All goods collected in Hillsborough neighborhoods will benefit families and individuals through the Inspire Hope hunger relief programs provided by Metropolitan Ministries.
“We believe hope starts with a meal, and this partnership with NALC will not only help us alleviate suffering by feeding more families and individuals, but it will also open doors to additional programs for those who are in crises beyond hunger,” said Marks.
HOW TO HELP:
On May 14, as they deliver mail, letter carriers will collect the donations that residents have left near their mailboxes. People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods, such as canned meat, peanut butter, boxed cereal, rice, beans, canned vegetables, and canned fruit next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery on Saturday. The food donations stay in each community, going to help local residents.
KICKOFF EVENT (SAVE THE DATE)
Metropolitan Ministries and NALC will host a kickoff event on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, at Metro’s Warehouse at 8:30 am. More details to come.