As the last of 77,695 pounds of food is sorted from the Letter Carrier’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, Manager of Volunteer Services Hilary Nelson reflects on both the Loaves & Fishes and Naperville communities’ great efforts.
It may have been a cold, rainy Saturday on May 12th, 2018, but the gloomy weather did not put a damper on the spirits of the individuals who woke up planning to help their community.
May 12th was the Annual Letter Carrier’s Food Drive. Over 150 letter carriers worked extra hours that day to collect food donations as they delivered the mail. Nearly 400 hours were put in on this date alone by over 100 volunteers. Countless families in Naperville left bags of food at their mailbox to be donated to Loaves & Fishes. In the end, we collected 78,000 lbs. of food!
Every year, months of planning goes into this impressive food drive and many volunteers are needed to help. The Letter Carrier’s Food Drive is now the largest volunteer special event Loaves & Fishes hosts all year. I was so impressed with the positive attitudes of our volunteers and the letter carriers. Despite the rain and chilly temperatures, everyone was excited to make a difference!
Thank you to the volunteers who assisted the letter carrier’s in collecting food from various neighborhoods in Naperville. The volunteers on these routes collected hundreds of bags of food on foot! Thank you to the volunteers and post office staff who were stationed at the Ogden Post Office and Fox Valley Post Office for receiving the donations from the postal trucks. These volunteers worked hard, lifting heavy bags full of canned goods and glass jars, then carefully loading them into boxes to be sorted. Thank you to the volunteers stationed at various satellite locations throughout Naperville who were on hand to help the letter carriers unload food donations from their trucks, so they could continue their route.
And of course, we cannot forget to thank the letter carriers who went above and beyond, extending their work day by hours to collect food as they were delivering the mail. Thank you for all your efforts!
Since May 12th, we have had over a dozen corporate partner volunteers dedicate over 600 hours of their time to help us sort through the 78,000 lbs. of food received. Some of our corporate groups have included Nicor, BMO Financial, Feeding America, Dun & Bradstreet, Geodis, Optomi, Walmart, BNY Mellon, CNH Industrial, Trader Joe’s, the Naperville Visitors Bureau, the Naperville Rotary and the Naperville Jaycees.
Thanks to the dedication of our volunteers, corporate groups, and volunteer leaders, we have been able to efficiently sort through each item of food and stock the shelves as quickly as possible for our clients. This product will last throughout the summer.
I would also like to extend a special ‘Thank You’ to North American Real Estate for donating the vacant warehouse space at 1955 Glacier Park Ave. (formerly Babies R Us). This large space allowed us plenty of room to store and sort through the 39 tons of food that was donated.
Every day I am impressed with our volunteers and how they go above and beyond to serve our clients and advance our mission to end hunger and transform lives. Once again, THANK YOU to the volunteers, post office employees and food donors who make this event possible.