Letter Carriers Collecting Food Donations On Saturday
Marlinton,WV – On Saturday, letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns in the U.S. will do double duty – both delivering mail and picking up food donations, as they drive and walk their routes. The mailmen and women are volunteering the extra time and effort for the 20th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive – the largest single-day food collection in the nation. Pocahontas County mailman Robby Sharp says Stamp Out Hunger is a partnership between the letter carriers’ union and the Postal Service.
“We got the National Association of Letter Carriers food drive,” he said. “It’s a program that the NALC and the Postal Service have come together to form to gather food and take to the local food banks for needy families in the communities. It’s just our way of saying thanks to our communities and helping out any way that we can.”
Letter carriers collected more than 11 million pounds of food during the first Stamp Out Hunger in 1993 – a one-day record in the U.S. Since then, donations have increased astronomically. Last year, letter carriers collected 70.2 million pounds, bringing the cumulative total of donated food, since 1993, to more than one billion pounds – that’s 500,000 tons.
Sharp says it easy to donate.
“How it works is – we ask that you place non-perishable food in your mailbox,” he said. “A carrier will pick it up for you. It’s actually a carrier function, but the rural carriers participate in it, as well. The rural routes and the contract carriers participate in it, as well.”
You can donate more than will fit in your mailbox.
“You can hang them on the mailbox or you can bring them into the post office,” said Sharp. “I think all the post offices in the county are participating in it.”
Sharp says mail carriers in Pocahontas County collect nearly a ton of food every year.
“This is actually our 20th year anniversary,” he said. “It’s been going on for 20 years. I think our best year here, that we kept record of, was in 2010 and we collected 1,864 pounds, which is pretty phenomenal, you know, the small community that we are. Last year, we actually collected 1,594. So, obviously, we’re wanting to achieve bigger numbers than we’ve ever had. So, more than 1,864 is what we’re shooting for. Anything more than that will be good.”
You still have time to donate if you miss Saturday.
“The big day is definitely going to be Saturday,” said Sharp. “That’s actually the day that they’ve designated for the food drive, but we’ve been collecting food all this week and will probably collect it the following week after that, also.”
Corporate sponsors for Stamp Out Hunger include Campbell Soup Company, AARP, Valpak Marketing and International Paper. Stamp Out Hunger also receives support from United Way, the AFL-CIO, Feeding America and Uncle Bob’s Trucking.
Sharp says it’s is an easy way to help your neighbors in need.
“Well, just know that it is going to your local food pantry and communities throughout the whole county benefit from it,” he said. “If you want an opportunity to help out your community, this would be a good way to do it.”