If you checked your mail this week you likely received a card or paper grocery bag asking you take part in a food drive. It’s all part of the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive and collection day is Saturday.
Hillsboro Postmaster Curtis Pegram said local residents are encouraged to fill up a bag, set it near their mailbox, and local mail carriers, with help from extra people, will pick it up.
Pegram said the local post office has been participating in the food drive for about 11 years. He said the first year the Hillsboro Post Office picked about 300 pounds of food to donate to area food pantries.
“I was embarrassed and said, ‘We’re going to do a lot better,’” Pegram said.
He said the record collection for the local area since that time is 22,000 pounds of food.
Originally, the collected food was divided between local food pantries. But Pegram said it is now given to New Life Ministries just outside of Hillsboro, which gives out food weekly to anyone that comes asking. It also delivers food to surrounding areas.
“About 25,000 people each week get some type of food product from that ministry,” Pegram said.
Part of the Hillsboro area food drive is an annual poster contest for students in grades 2-5 to raise awareness of the need many have for food. Pegram said that through next week the posters, except for those belonging to the top contest winners, are lining the walls of the Hillsboro Post Office.
This year’s winners were:
1st place — Kobie Miles
2nd place — Isabell Moore
3rd place — Jayna Florence
1st place — Carys Langston
2nd place — Brynne Holsted
3rd place — Troy Gregory
3rd place — Dartanyen Stovall
1st place — Teegan Joachimi
2nd place — Noah Main
3rd place — Dougie Thackson
1st place — Abby Anderson
2nd place — Emmalee Young
Every second Saturday in May, letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America collect the goodness and compassion of their postal customers, who participate in the NALC Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive — the largest one-day food drive in the nation, according to the United States Postal Service.
Led by letter carriers represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers, with help from rural letter carriers, other postal employees and other volunteers, the drive has delivered more than one billion pounds of food the past 25 years, the USPS said.
Carriers collect non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes and in post offices and deliver them to local community food banks, pantries and shelters. Nearly 1,500 NALC branches in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands are involved.
To donate, just place a box or can of non-perishable food next to your mailbox before your letter carrier delivers the mail Saturday. The carrier will do the rest.
“With 42 million people facing hunger every day in America, including 13 million children, this drive is one way you can help those in your own city or town who need help,” the USPS said in a news release.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.