This Saturday, May 13, marked 25 years of the Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Once again, Food Lion partnered with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) who spent this Saturday collecting non-perishable food to help families in need all over the country.
Food Lion Feeds supported the 2017 Stamp Out Hunger food drive serving as corporate sponsor in the states of Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, and for the very first time this year, North and South Carolina.
Understanding that millions go hungry each year, not only did Food Lion provide the blue collection bags for residents in these areas, but the Food Lion Feeds team also made a series of meal donations to food banks in these states in order to raise awareness of Saturday's drive during the week leading up to it.
Below we've summarized each of our donation events across our regions in the days leading up to the food drive, along with the inspiration they provided those we work side by side with pouring their hearts out to help the hungry find their next meal.
To follow the Food Lion Feeds team check back here on the Lion's Tale or follow us on Twitter @FoodLionFeeds.
Baltimore, Md., Wilmington, Del. –"Stamp Out Hunger" Kicks Off Week In Northeast With Food Lion Feeds Donation
Delaware and Maryland are miles apart, but residents in both states worked together earlier this week for a similar cause: to make a huge mark on hunger.
Members of the Food Bank of Delaware, Maryland Food Bank, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and the U.S. Postal Service gathered with Food Lion associates Monday and Tuesday to pack more than 15,000 meals of Food Lion branded product which would later be donated to their neighbors in need.
"We could not do this without the help of Food Lion," said Aishia Tolson, Secretary of NALC Branch 1977 in Delaware. "The food that our residents will leave outside their doors will help people who are homeless, veterans, seniors and those who are unemployed and underemployed."
As part of its sponsorship, Food Lion's name can be found on the blue plastic bags mailed to all postal customers in Delaware and Maryland. Customers will then put canned goods and other items inside and leave them either inside or near their mailboxes so that postal carriers can pick them up Saturday, May 13. Stamp Out Hunger is the largest one-day food drive in the nation.
Delaware held its kickoff event Monday in the parking lot of its Newark, Del., location. Letter carriers, Food Bank of Delaware staff and U.S. Postal Service staff helped unload food onto the postal truck.
Next, on Tuesday, Food Lion associates gathered with Maryland Food Bank staff at their location in Baltimore to hold a kick-off event. Mike Smith, Baltimore Branch 176 President of the National Letter Carriers, called Food Lion "a great partner."
"We definitely could not do this without Food Lion providing us the bags for us to deliver and pick up from our postal customers," Smith said during a brief press conference.
In addition to local media covering the event, attendees shared information on social media forums from the event in order to help spread the word.
Food Lion donated 7,800 meals to the food bank, hoping to inspire local residents to do the same and give back, even if they can only spare one can.
Charlotte, N.C. & Greenville, N.C. – North Carolina Kick-Starts "Stamp Out Hunger" With Multiple Donations
On Tuesday, May 9, Food Lion Feeds joined with local National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) leaders along with and representatives of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and Loaves and Fishes, to hold an event to kick-start this year's Stamp Out Hunger event. Local Food Lion Director of Operations Pat Calhoun announced Food Lion Feeds' donation of 7,200 meals, split between Second Harvest of Metrolina and Loaves and Fishes.
"We always try to beat out what we did last year, so now, the carriers are pumped, we're energized, we're getting ready collect all this food and help out our communities," said Arvin Concepcion, a local NALC leader.
Also that day, the team made additional 7,200 meal donations to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina in Greenville, N.C.
Roanoke, Va. – Food Lion Feeds Makes a Difference in Southwest Virginia in Advance of "Stamp Out Hunger"
Feeding America Southwest Virginia has several strategic goals, but their main objective continues to focus on improving food security to help stabilize the lives of those in the communities they serve. More than 150,000 people in the food bank's area are food-insecure. Almost 44,000 of those are children. That's why for the third year in a row, Food Lion Feeds is partnering with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) for the 25th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive on Saturday, May 13. To kick off the event, Food Lion is donating the first 7,800 meals to Feeding America Southwest Virginia (FASWVA).
“By stepping up to donate the first 7,800 meals, we hope our customers in the Roanoke community will join us to support the campaign by leaving bags of non-perishable items out by their mailboxes for our local postal workers on Saturday,” said Rob Ward, Director of Operations for Foodlion. “At Food Lion, we believe no one should have to choose between dinner and rent or gasoline and buying groceries. Campaigns like Stamp Out Hunger go a long way toward helping eliminate these choices for those struggling with hunger here in our community.”
On Wednesday morning, Food Lion, FASWVA and the NALC met at the food bank to make the donation official in hopes of bring awareness to hunger in Southwest Virginia, where one in eight people have trouble putting food on the table.
"The food we receive from Stamp Out Hunger makes an enormous difference in the lives of the hungry right here in our local communities. It’s our largest food drive of the year, regularly bringing in more than 160,000 meals," said Kitty Tabor, Food Resourcing Manager for Feeding America Southwest Virginia. "None of the work we do at the food bank could be done without the support of our sponsor Food Lion Feeds, who has been a tremendous partner in the Food Bank’s mission to fight hunger."
Feeding America Southwest Virginia says during this time of year they run low on food donations. They rely on the Stamp Out Hunger food drive to feed people in the 26 counties they serve. The postal carriers also care about making a difference in the community.
"You're in there every day and you are walking the street every day and you just want to do something," said Jenny Hall, with National Association of Letter Carriers. "Everybody just wants to do something. Carriers have such good hearts and they want to help the community and this is their opportunity."
Last year, letter carriers in Roanoke collected more than 256,000 pounds of food on their postal routes and are hoping to surpass that number this year.
Columbia and Charleston, S.C. – Food Lion Makes Mark on Hunger in Palmetto State
Every day the United States Postal Service serves its community, but on Saturday, May 13, they will partner with Food Lion Feeds to make one of the most important deliveries this year: meals to hungry families in Columbia and Charleston, S.C.
For 25 years, The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) works to close the gap on hunger through its Stamp Out Hunger food drive. During the campaign, local USPS employees deliver grocery bags for area-residents to fill and leave by their mailbox on collection day.
The nation's largest one-day food drive received a little help this year from Food Lion Feeds, which provided the grocery bags and two 10,000 pound fresh and non-perishable food donations to the Lowcountry Food Bank and Harvest Hope Food Bank.
"This 10,000 pound donation is extremely important," said Pat Walker, Lowcountry Food Bank CEO. "It helps us kick off the largest one-day food drive in the nation. This food will be distributed to children, families and seniors who do not have access to the nourishment these need. Food Lion is just a terrific partner."
Richmond, Va. – Food Lion, FeedMore and The National Association of Letter Carriers Prepare to "Stamp Out Hunger"
It may have been damp and rainy outside but that didn't dampen the spirits of Food Lion associates from the Richmond and Petersburg region who showed up at FeedMore to help kickoff the 25th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Thelma Hunt, President NALC496, was also on hand for the kickoff.
"Letter carriers deliver to every house six days per week, so we are the eyes and ears of every community and often times we see the need first hand," Hunt pointed out. Add that this was one of the original reasons the food drive began 25 years ago.
As part of the kickoff, Food Lion Feeds donated the first 7,800 meals to the food drive.
"Food Lion Feeds is proud to support the Stamp Out Hunger campaign in Richmond by providing donate the first 7,800 meals," said Chris Ortiz, Food Lion's execution and implementation specialist for the Richmond area. "We hope our customers in the Richmond community will join us to support the campaign by leaving bags of non-perishable items out by their mailboxes for our local postal workers on Saturday."
Tim McDermott, Chief Development Officer at FeedMore highlighted why the food drive is so critical to the food bank when he said “as we enter the summer months, when hungry families need additional food for children home on school vacations, this drive helps keep our Distribution Center stocked with nutritious food items to help our Central Virginia neighbors in need.”
In addition to the donation, associates also helped the food bank prepare for the large donations they will be receiving from the food drive on Saturday by clearing out their sorting room. Associates helped sort and pack perishable and non-perishable product that was donated to the food bank. This was a great opportunity for many of the store managers to see what happens to the product Food Lion donates to FeedMore through its food rescue program.
Every donation to FeedMore stays in the Richmond community and feeds those who would otherwise go hungry.
*The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) is in the process of working to calculate the total number of pounds/meals collected from Saturday's national food drive. We look forward to updating this entry with the final numbers from the aforementioned states once available in the coming weeks.