by Madison V. Fisler
March 18, 2014. On Saturday, May 10, High Country post offices will be collecting nonperishable food items in an effort to do their part to combat hunger in the 2014 Letter Carrier’s Food Drive. This has been a national effort since 1993.
On the second Saturday in May, hundreds of thousands of letter carriers, retirees, family members and volunteers will take to mail routes in every state and territory across America, pick up sacks of nonperishable food and deliver the goods to food banks and pantries that serve their local communities.
“It’s quite impressive that our drive has managed to collect just under 1.3 billion pounds of food over the past two decades,” NALC President Frederic Rolando said.
“But what really counts is that our extra effort each year on the second Saturday in May means that some of the people who are most in need and who live in our own back yards will be able to put a little more food on their families’ tables.”
“The Banner Elk Post Office will be participating in this great event,” said Sharon Robbins, Postmaster of the Banner Elk Post Office.
“We may not be able to acquire the bags, but customers can put them in any type of bag and bring them to the post office or leave it at their mailbox on Saturday, May 10. Food donations collected here will go to Feeding Avery Families.”
In addition, the Boone Post Office and the Lenoir Post Office will also be participating.
Those who wish to donate may leave donations in bags by their mailboxes to be picked up by mail carriers on their routes.
According to national Food Drive partner Feeding America, 49 million Americans may not know where their next meal is coming from. This sad figure includes nearly 16 million children.
And while one in seven Americans rely on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits right now, proposed changes to SNAP could mean that fewer people will be able to access these crucial benefits, forcing them to learn harder on food pantries for help.
Stepping up to solve this problem are this year’s other national food drive sponsors: The National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, Campbell Soup, AARP’s Drive to End Hunger, United Way, Publix Grocery Stores, The AFL-CIO, Valassis, Valpak and Uncle Bob’s Self Storage, not to mention the U.S. Postal Service.
“We’ll continue to encourage all postal employees across the country to support the food drive,” USPS Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe wrote in a letter to President Rolando.
“Working together, we will continue to make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans in need.”