Local postal workers join effort to ‘Stamp Out Hunger’
By: Donna Ryder Messenger Associate Editor
By DONNA RYDER
Messenger Associate Editor
On Saturday letter carriers in more than 10,000 communities, including Obion County, will collect food items for local food banks to help some of the millions of Americans, including an estimated 13 million children, who face hunger every day.
Since 1993, families have donated more than a half-billion pounds of food to Stamp Out Hunger. Locally, Union City’s city and rural postal carriers have collected food since 1994 to help fill local food bank shelves. Those who have benefited over the years include Meals on Wheels for the elderly, American Red Cross, Helping Hand and local churches which have food pantries.
Stamp Out Hunger is the nation’s largest annual single-day food drive. Postal customers are being asked to simply place bags filled with nonperishable food items like baby food, canned meats and fish, canned soup, juice, pasta, vegetables, cereal and rice next to their mailbox on Saturday. Postal tubs will be in the lobby of the Union City Post Office for postal box users and rural customers also to participate in the effort. Postal officials ask that residents not include out-of-date items or those in glass containers.
Letter carriers will pick up the bags and make arrangements for the local food banks to receive the food. Local food banks that are in need of restocking are asked to call the Union City Post Office before Saturday to get their name on the list so food may be allotted for their banks. Residents who can volunteer their time Saturday to help deliver food to the food banks are also asked to call the Union City facility at 885-9711.
Residents will be receiving cards this week which have been supplied by Campbell’s Soup Company reminding them of the annual effort, while the United States Postal Service, National Association of Letter Carriers and Second Harvest Food Bank will provide special plastic bags. The plastic bags are a reminder tool and are not a necessity in order to donate. Any plastic shopping bag will work, officials said.
This is the first year the National Association of Letter Carriers has joined with leaders of the postal service in the effort. Helping to make it a family affair, employees’ families will help pick up food.
Obion County residents have been generous over the past 14 years, having first given a few hundred pounds in 1994 to donating about 12,000 pounds in 2007, with the local post office collecting more than other area associate offices. Local officials hope area residents are as generous this year in spite of increasing food and gasoline costs. In fact, because prices on everyday items continue to increase, so do the needs of area residents — making it even more important for people to be willing to open their families’ pantries during this food drive.
“A lot of time, effort, planning and dedication are put into this drive by the carriers but it could never be successful without the support of the great people of Union City,” a spokesman said.
Published in The Messenger5.08.08