Letter Carriers collect tons of donated food

Published 12:22 pm Monday, May 15, 2017

On a typical day, delivery trucks leave the Post Office full of letters and packages and return empty at the end of the day.

Saturday was not a typical day though. The trucks returned to the Post Office one by one full of donated cans and other non-perishable food items collected during the annual National Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Campaign.

“It was exciting,” delivery driver Monica Johnson said. “ I couldn’t believe I got as much as I did. I got a lot. I kept saying to myself, what if everybody in this neighborhood had bags. My truck would be full. I had people tell me that the tuck was leaning in the front and down in the back. It was exciting. I’ve done it before, but nothing like this.”

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The collected food will support six agencies in Warren County that provide assistance to those in need.

“We provide food to the community every day,” Rose Binghan, the director of We Care Community Services, said. “Hunger is a big issue in our community. We used to think of hunger as just the people not working, but now hunger is impacting the working poor, it is impacting the elderly and whatever community support we can get it goes a long way.”

Students at the Academy of Innovation and Bovina and Bowmar elementary schools, the Vicksburg Warren Board of Realtors and the Girl Scouts, also donated additional food. There is also an ongoing food drive at ERDC that will add to the total at the end of the month.

“This time a year, especially after the holidays, the agencies are low on food,” Renee Maxey, the president of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 94, said. “This is a good time to refurbish the agencies. Especially the elderly people that don’t like to ask for help. This food helps to feed them and their families.”

A total of 22,924 pounds of food were collected as of 7 p.m. Saturday. Officials said they would continue to collect food on Monday and Tuesday, as residents put out donations.

“It really helps us get through the year,” Charles Calhoun, the president of Store House Community Food Pantry, said. “We are totally set up where we have to bring our food and money in. When we started 15 years ago, this was the only food we had. This is one of the best-organized things you will ever see. It is a real good thing they do for us here.”

Saturday’s drive marked the 25th year that the NALC has held the drive nationwide.

The local drive in Warren County was held in memory of Kimmy Melton who died in 2012.