By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
On Saturday, May 12, local postal workers will join postal workers nationwide in the annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. The drive will collect items for local food banks. To participate, all you have to do is leave non-perishible items at the mailbox.
The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive began in 1993. In the years beforehand, many local post offices across the nation participated in local food drives, but in 1993, the National Association of Letter Carriers created a nationwide food drive.
“It’s probably the biggest food drive in the nation,” said Candice Phillips. “We are hitting every house, every resident, every company, every business. We are hitting it all.”
The association decided to host the drive in May because during the holiday months of November and December food banks receive many donations, but by May many food banks begin to run out of food.
“It really keeps the community food banks thriving throughout the year,” said Phillips.
Phillips said that the drive can be personal for the letter carriers.
“It hits home for us, some carriers in some of the neighborhood, you see that our food drive is helping your customers,” said Phillips. “You see that it’s feeding the people that need it. We see that it is helping.”
Each post office branch brings the food to local food banks, so food donated in Etowah County will remain local to help its citizens.
To let everyone know about the food drive, the post office distributes cards with information about it. However, Phillips said that some people don’t check the mail everyday and miss out on donating food.
Phillips said that the post office and its employees just want the community to know about and participate in the food drive so that a lot of food is collected.
Last year, Phillip said that the goal was 35,000 pounds of food, and she is “pretty sure” the local post office met that. Nationwide, seven million pounds of food were collected. This year’s goal is 40,000 pounds, and Phillips is sure that the community can help the post office meet the goal.
“I hope we can go way above that,” said Phillips. “If every person donated just one can or food item, it would blow our goal out of the water.”
Phillips said that while some people miss the food drive, many leave the food out in the week afterwards, which the postal workers will still pick up and transport to the food bank.