By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor

Letter Carriers across the country will celebrate the 25th year of their “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive this weekend.   While delivering and picking up mail this Saturday, May 13th, they are also hoping to pick up food donations to help the less fortunate.  It is important to remember that your donations remain in the local area!

National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando said, “Preparation and coordination for Food Drive Day (always the second Saturday in May) can be challenging, but despite the challenges, our mail carriers look forward to it each year because of the important role they are playing in the fight against hunger in this country.  We deliver to every address in America at least six days a week, and because we’re such a consistent and familiar presence in neighborhoods, we’re all too familiar with the unfortunate reality of ongoing hunger.”

According to records from the past 24 years, people have been very generous!  Postal employees and other volunteers have delivered more than 1.5 billion pounds of food to local food banks and pantries in the U.S. With 49 million people facing hunger every day in America, including nearly 16 million children, this drive is one way to help those in your local area who need help.  Again, the items donated are distributed within the same communities where they are collected.

Shinnston Postmaster Matt Fleece said the postal employees are happy to be participating again this year.  “Our carriers will be collecting during their route on Saturday and will pick up items left near mailboxes within the city limits.  Carriers will also be placing postcards in mailboxes this week reminding residents of Saturday’s drive,” he said.  “And for added convenience, we will also be distributing special bags in which folks can put their donated items for pickup.”

Sandra Haggerty, Director of The Lord’s Pantry in Shinnston, urges residents who live in the Lincoln High School attendance area to support Saturday’s drive.  “The mail carriers’ food drive provides such a great service to food pantries like ours who help so many families in our area.  They do all the work; all you have to do is place your non-perishable donations in a bag near your mailbox.  They do the pick-up and delivery!  For those who perhaps have a post office box and don’t have mail carrier service, their donations can be taken to the Shinnston Post Office where a receiving container will be located in the lobby.  Donations benefit The Lord’s Pantry here in Shinnston and its satellite at the Ten Mil Baptist Church.   We encourage you to help us help others by participating,” Mrs. Haggerty concluded.