Letter carriers collect 73.4 million pounds of food for the hungry


On May 9, the National Association of Letter Carriers conducted its 17th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive and, recession or no, people gave more generously than they ever have.

The 73,414,533-pound bounty was up slightly from the 73.1 million pounds collected last year. Most interestingly, the St. Petersburg, Florida branch collected the largest load. Pinellas County, where St. Petersburg is located, saw its unemployment rate rise 4.8% to 9.5% over the past year. The foreclosure rate has also doubled in the past year, but St. Petersburg residents still found a way to donate 1.7 million pounds of food for the hungry.

"This is an amazing testimony to the generosity of the American people even as they themselves struggle to make ends meet in these hard times," NALC president William H. Young said in a press release. "Our members take pride in being able to serve their postal customers and help them assist millions of needy Americans, including many working families, children and the elderly."

Buffalo/Western New York NALC Branch 3 -- an area that has help up relatively well during these tough times -- came in second in the nation.