Safe deliveries

The Postal Service has released a video to help customers understand new delivery procedures to promote social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

The one-minute video, titled “Help Us Serve You: Mail Carriers,” explains that letter carriers will knock on a customer’s door instead of ringing a doorbell.

Instead of asking a customer to sign for a delivery, the carrier will ask the customer for his or her first initial and last name, which the carrier will enter in their Mobile Delivery Device.

Additionally, the animated video encourages customers to give carriers enough time to walk away before retrieving a package.

The Postal Service is sharing the video on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media channels, along with a similar video that illustrates new social distancing procedures inside Post Offices.

On hold

This year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive, scheduled for May 9, has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. A new date has not been announced.

The National Association of Letter Carriers, which leads the annual one-day drive in which Postal Service employees collect food donations for local pantries, announced the decision last week.

“Much of the United States is currently under shelter in place or similar advisories due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and public health authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued guidelines that include social distancing,” the association said in a statement. “While it is unknown how long these guidelines will remain in place, it is highly unlikely that those involved in the food drive will be able to safely participate just six weeks from now.”

USPS employees collected 75.7 million pounds of food during last year’s food drive, the third-highest total in the campaign’s 27-year history.

The pandemic has also prompted the cancellation of several stamp dedication ceremonies and this year’s National Postal Forum.

Survey says

In the new era of social distancing, Postal Service customers who are limiting their interactions with other people can use Informed Delivery to complete their 2020 census questionnaire online.

Informed Delivery allows users to preview their incoming mail on smartphones, tablets and other devices.

Customers who use the free feature will be able to see images of their census questionnaire envelopes before they arrive in the mail. The customers can then click on the response image and be taken to the 2020 census website, where they can complete the questionnaire.

Customers can also complete a paper questionnaire and return it through the mail.

In March, USPS began delivering 590 million census mailpieces — the single largest First-Class Mail mailing within a 90-day period in Postal Service history.

The pieces include census questionnaires, as well as letters and postcards about the survey.

Employees can register for Informed Delivery at informeddelivery.usps.com. Sign-up is voluntary and must be done off the clock.

The Census 2020 Blue page has more information and resources for postal employees.

How inviting

The Postal Service has released the Contemporary Boutonniere and Garden Corsage stamps, which form a natural pair to dress up envelopes for wedding invitations, RSVPs, thank-you notes and similar celebratory mail.

The dedication ceremony, which had been scheduled for April 2 before being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, may be held at a later date.

Contemporary Boutonniere is a Forever stamp, while Garden Corsage can accommodate the weight of heavy invitations, oversize greeting cards and mailings up to two ounces that require extra postage.

For centuries, boutonnieres — or buttonhole flowers, as they were called in Britain — were a staple of a well-dressed man’s outfit. A boutonniere can also be worn by a woman who prefers something petite or tailored in design.

The word “corsage” was shortened from the French term “bouquets de corsage,” which referred to the bodice of a dress, where small bouquets were pinned. Corsages were fashionable for daily wear in earlier centuries, but gradually they began to be worn mostly for formal occasions.

The boutonniere and corsage continue to be stylish accessories at weddings and other special events.

The stamp artwork features modern botanical styles arranged by floral designer Carol Caggiano and photographed by Renée Comet. Ethel Kessler was the art director.

Both stamps are available at Post Offices and usps.com.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Postal employee carrying a package.

Scanning snapshot. The Postal Service’s national scanning rating dropped to 97.39 percent last week, down from 97.65 percent one week earlier. This marked the second consecutive week the number fell.

As usual, Western (97.93 percent) led the areas, while Dakotas (99.09 percent) dominated the districts.

All seven areas and most of the 67 districts experienced declines, although there were a few improvements. Two examples: Santa Ana District ranked 67th at 94.58 percent, up 0.87 percent from one week earlier, while Caribbean District ranked 58th at 96.78 percent, up 0.44 percent.

Scanning data allows customers to track their mail and packages, which helps USPS deliver excellent service, boost loyalty and drive revenue.

To see the latest data, go to the Informed Visibility website and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.”

Northeast news. The Postal Service recently mailed Northeast Area Update’s latest issue to employees in the area.

This edition, which is also available on Blue and LiteBlue, is primarily devoted to stories about programs that allow workers to submit sales leads to USPS.