## AFL-CIO & The United Way

For over 80 years, Labor has partnered with the United Way. Just after World War II, the United Way (then Community Chests and Councils) and the AFL-CIO worked together to create a mechanism for payroll deduction that helped build the organization and added labor representatives to United Way’s boards in their communities. Since then, unions have been strong partners in the workplace campaign, encouraging union members to give and volunteer.

To tackle the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, in 2016, members of the United Association of Journeyman, along with Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry, worked with United Way of Genesee County to install free faucets and water filters for community residents in more than 800 homes.

## Nation’s Largest Food Drive

The National Association of Letter Carriers’ annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is the nation’s largest all-volunteer one-day food drive.
The national, coordinated effort by the NALC to help fight hunger in America grew out of discussions in 1991 by several leaders at the time, including NALC President Vincent R. Sombrotto, AFL-CIO Community Services Director Joseph Velasquez and Postmaster General Anthony Frank. A pilot drive was held in 10 cities in October of 1991, and it proved so successful that work began immediately on making it a nationwide effort.

Input from food banks and pantries suggested that late spring would be the best time since by then most food banks in the country start running out of donations received during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday periods.

A revamped drive was organized for May 15, 1993—the second Saturday in May—with a goal of having at least one NALC branch in each of the 50 states participating. The result was astounding. More than 11 million pounds of food was collected—a one-day record in the United States—involving more than 220 union branches.

From Alaska to Florida and Maine to Hawaii, letter carriers did double duty—delivering mail and picking up donations. It just grew and grew from that point. In 2019, letter carriers collected more than 76.1 million pounds of food, the 15th straight year that collections exceeded 70 million pounds. Since the drive began in 1993, nearly 1.4 billion pounds of food have been collected.

This year’s drive takes place on May 13, 2023. ■