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Letter Carriers 'Stamp Out Hunger' Campaign Returns After COVID Hiatus

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Tuesday, May 10, 2022   

Mail carriers across New Mexico are gearing-up for the "2022 Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive" this Saturday, May 14. The National Association of Letter Carriers with the U.S. Postal Service encourage postal customers to leave a bag in or near their mailbox filled with nonperishable food, to be picked up by mail carriers and shared with Roadrunner Food Bank for distribution. Comments from Marie Montano, carrier, National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 504, Albuquerque.

Marie Montano, a letter carrier for the Postal Service and member of the National Association of Letter Carriers Local 504 in Albuquerque leads the drive, said donations help replenish the shelves at Roadrunner Food Bank.

Montano noted the project is close to her heart, because she remembers her own family sometimes struggled to make ends meet.

"There were six of us in my family, so I remember that it was sometimes tight for my parents," Montano recounted. "And if I can do it now, to help out, I will do as much as I can, because I remember that."

Due to COVID, letter carriers had to forgo the annual tradition the past two years, and instead competed in friendly contests to raise cash for Roadrunner, topping out at $10,000 last year.

The annual event, held the second Saturday in May, takes place in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states and beyond.

According to Montano, postal customers just need to put food items next to their mail slot and a letter carrier will do the rest.

"Some of my customers don't have the time to go and take it to Roadrunner," Montano acknowledged. "Everybody's so busy now and with COVID going on, they were kind-of scared, and it's easy for a lot of our customers."

Because of the two-year COVID hiatus, Montano is not sure what to expect for this year's drive, but said current letter carriers, retirees and countless volunteers will do their best to make it successful.

"I'd like to hit 200,000 pounds for Albuquerque," Montano emphasized. "We've gone a little bit close, I don't know that we've fully gone over, over in the one-day pick-up. I think the highest we've gone is, like, 195,000."

People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing nonperishable food items that are not expired -- such as canned soup, canned vegetables, canned meats and fish, pasta, peanut butter, rice or cereal -- next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery time on Saturday.

Disclosure: Roadrunner Food Bank contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Community Issues and Volunteering, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, and Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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