Letter carriers around the nation will pick up food donations as they deliver mail on Saturday, and local carriers hope they will collect more food than ever this year.
On Saturday, residents can leave out bags of canned goods and other non-perishable food items at their mailboxes or inside their mailboxes, and postal carriers will pick up the food to be donated to local food pantries. Titled “Stamp Out Hunger,” the operation is carried out by the National Association of Letter Carriers and the United States Postal Service.
According to Mount Airy letter carrier Donald Surratt, last year the food collected in Mount Airy helped feed around 9,200 families.
“We’ve had great success and hope to grow this year as well,” remarked Surratt. “The need is certainly there.”
He said the postal service has been placing bags and cards in mailboxes to inform people of the food drive. Cards have also been placed in P.O. boxes, and Surratt said a bag or hamper should be set out at the post office for those customers to place their food donations.
As carriers drop off mail, they will pick up the bags of food. Surratt said there will be volunteers to pick up the bags when the vehicles get loaded with food. The food will be taken to be weighed and distributed to food pantries.
“It’s going to be a long day, but we’re going to get mail to everybody,” Surratt assured.
He said food would be collected rain or shine. “We still hope for a big day,” he said.
Stamp Out Hunger has been taking place for nearly two decades. Surratt said it is the nation’s largest one-day food drive. For more information about the annual food drive, visit www.helpstampouthunger.com.