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‘Stamp Out Hunger’ kicks off in PBC Saturday

On May 11, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will launch its 27th annual ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ Food Drive, when letter carriers across the country will pick up millions of pounds of non-perishable food items from one house at a time. It is the nation’s largest one-day food drive.

And on May 4, the drive will kick off in Palm Beach County (PBC).

The NALC and Farm Share, its Florida distribution partner, will launch the drive from 9 to 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Judge Edward Rodgers Center for Community Development in Riviera Beach. Community leaders, government and elected officials from across the county have been invited.

PBC Mayor Mack Bernard will bring County greetings and Riviera Beach Mayor Ronnie Felder and Councilwoman Julie Botel will say hello from the host city.

Directly after the kickoff, there will be a Farm Share food giveaway onsite to needy families. Volunteers can register onsite or by sending an email to tshed@prodigy.net. Refreshments will be provided and community service hours will be available. Those seeking to receive the fresh fruits, vegetables and other staples just need to arrive, register and receive. The giveaway ends at 2 p.m.

But for the NALC, May 11 is the big day. The national event was borne in 1992, thanks to the experiences of letter carriers who see life every day.

We all do,” said Veronica Flores-Osborne, president of NALC’s PBC Branch 1690, one of 1,400 in the U.S. alone (there are also branches in U.S. territories like Guam and Puerto Rico). “We go to every single house in every single neighborhood every single day of the week except Sunday. We see a lot. When you see something, you do something.”

The Rodgers Center hosted its first Farm Share food giveaway in October last year and nearly 500 families rolled through. The Center is operated by the Alpha Educational Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the PBC chapter of the national Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Judge Rodgers had been an Alpha Man for nearly 70 years. He died last year.

The first Farm Share event at the Judge Rodgers Center in October.

“But his legacy lives on every day, especially with the food giveaway next week,” said Alfred Fields, the Foundation’s president. “This Center is about the community. That’s what Judge Rodgers was about. We appreciate that and work on it every single day.”

To learn more about the Stamp Out Hunger drive, click here. About Homestead-based Farm Share, which works to end food deserts statewide, here, and the Alpha Men, here.

And to hear a discussion of all this, click here to listen to the April 28, 2019, episode of ‘South Florida Sunday’ on X102.3 FM with Ms. Flores-Osborne and John Delgado, Farm Share’s assistant operations manager.

Besides this event, the Alpha Men also host a monthly Community Commerce and Flea Market, which provides a platform for small local businesses to sell and promote what they do. Click here to learn more.