Tifton Gazette

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May 6, 2014

Letter carriers prep for annual food drive

TIFTON — “If you find a plastic Publix bag in your mailbox sometime this week, don’t throw it away,” begins local United Way executive Greg Millette.

Instead, he suggests, fill it with non-perishable food items and place it by your mailbox on Saturday morning to participate in this year’s ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ Food Drive.

May 10 marks the 22nd annual ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ Food Drive, led by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and involving partners such as United Way, Publix and others. Each year during Mother’s Day weekend, postal carriers across the country take extra time along their routes to not only drop off the mail but also load up your special deliveries of food for the local poor.

In Tift County, the NALC has long partnered with United Way of South Central Georgia to manage distribution to local food providers. After letter carriers bring the food in from mailboxes across the county, United Way volunteers at the post office loading dock work to quickly unload the food from the postal trucks and reload it into trucks heading to local agencies such as the Salvation Army Food Bank, Tiftarea Community Food Bank and Tifton Soup Kitchen.

“We are excited this year to be teaming up with People First of Diversified Enterprises and the Tifton Junior Women’s Club for volunteer support,” said Millette. “Volunteers are a critical part of this event, and these folks will get the job done quickly and safely so that the food is available for distribution or meal service just as soon as these agencies open on Monday morning.”

As difficult economic times continue, many Americans find themselves struggling to regularly put food on the table for themselves and their families. At least one in five Georgians face food insecurity, not knowing if they can provide regular meals throughout the current week. The need grows even stronger during the summer months, right after this food drive, when children are not receiving free meals at school.

“We have seen as much as 15,000 pounds of food collected locally in a single day with this event,” said Ken Glass, local representative of the NALC, “and we hope that this year’s drive will exceed even that amazing total.”

 “This drive provides one of the easiest ways to support your neighbors in need,” said Millette. “Simply buy a few extra items at the grocery store, place them in a provided bag, and walk them out to the mailbox on Saturday morning.”

“Let’s all do our part,” said Glass, “to stamp out hunger in Tift County.”

 

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