May 6, 2009
The National Association of Letter Carriers will conduct the nation''s largest food drive to combat hunger Saturday. On that day, letter carriers in over 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states will collect non-perishable donations from homes as they deliver mail along their postal routes.
The NALC and local carriers are asking residents of Columbus and Columbus Air Force Base to leave their non-perishable food donations in bags near their mailboxes Saturday morning. Mail carriers will pick up the donations when they deliver the mail.
"There are families and individuals in our community struggling to put food on their tables," said Jan Ballard, executive director of United Way of Lowndes County. "Leaving a non-perishable item or two for your letter carrier to collect for our pantries and shelters is an easy way to serve others and make a real difference.
"We encourage everyone to support the efforts of our local letter carriers and the important work of our agencies in Lowndes County." Agencies benefiting from the drive include Helping Hands, Recovery House, The Salvation Army and the Community Resource Connection. First Assembly of God James Cook Food Pantry will also benefit from the drive.
Since 2005, area residents have contributed over two tons of non-perishable food items each year to benefit local food pa tries and shelters that serve the community.
Local organizer Jeff McDonald is hopeful this year''s drive will exceed the record 4,400 pounds of food collected in Columbus last year.
"Letter carriers see these families daily on their delivery routes," McDonald said. "Our food drive is one way we can all help, and we encourage our postal patrons to participate by leaving donations by their mailbox on May 9."
Requested non-perishable food items include canned fruit, meat, soups and vegetables, as well as dry milk, pasta, rice, cereal, peanut butter and other items that can be stored without refrigeration. Glass containers and out-of-date items should not be included.
For more information, contact Jan Ballard at 662-328-0943.