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The U.S. Postal Service will feed millions of hungry families through its annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive this Saturday. Locally, Radcliff and Elizabethtown post offices are participating.
Mail customers can donate canned goods and non-perishable foods by dropping them off at the Radcliff or Elizabethtown post offices or by placing grocery bags of food next to their mailbox Saturday. Mail carriers collect the donations and take care of the rest.
This year marks the 22nd anniversary for the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. According to a news release, 74 million pounds of food was collected by postal carriers nationally in 2013, which fed around 30 million people. Over the 22-year history of the food drive, more than one billion pounds of food have been collected.
Thomas Wheeler, local union president for Branch 3515 of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said the U.S. Post Office in Elizabethtown brought in an estimated 7,223 pounds of food last year.
“It varies from year to year depending on the economy,” Wheeler said.
Radcliff brought in about 8,700 pounds of food in 2013, said Radcliff Post Master Becky Garrett. The donations are delivered to area soup kitchens and food banks including Dare to Care, Hope for the Homeless, Helping Hand of Hope, Warm Blessings Soup Kitchen and others.
Both post offices reward their carriers with lunch for their services picking up the foods.
“It’s all voluntary,” Wheeler said. “We don’t have a single carrier who isn’t doing it.”
The food drive is held each year on the Saturday prior to Mother’s Day.
“We love the community and anything that we can do to raise awareness of the need for the less fortunate,” said Mary Cardoza-Lane, officer in charge and acting post master in Elizabethtown. “I’m just really glad that we can do this.”
Anna Taylor can be reached at 270-505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.