By BRAD KELLAR
Letter carriers across the United States spend one day a year helping feed the nation’s less fortunate, including families in Greenville and Hunt County.
Local residents will have their chance to assist them on May 11 during the 21st annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) National Food Drive to “Stamp Out Hunger”, the largest one-day food drive in the United States.
Employees of the Greenville Post Office participate each year, and in 2012 collected more than 43,000 pounds to be donated to Hunt County Shared Ministries (FISH).
Steve Duncan, Food Program Coordinator with the NALC in Greenville, said the drive will assist two local agencies this year.
“This year the Greenville Letter Carriers feel that by dividing the food collected from our generous Postal customers between the Salvation Army and FISH Ministries we can reach many more people who need the help in our community,” Duncan said.
Nationwide, letter carries collected more than 70 million pounds of food during last year’s drive, which helped feed an estimated 30 million people. During the past 20 years, the drive has collected more than 1 billion pounds.
Duncan said the local drive brought in “a couple thousand pounds” during its first year, but has collected more than 250,000 pounds of food in the past two decades.
“This always comes at a great time,” added FISH executive director Wally Jeffers. “A family’s needs rise during the summer, when their kids are home five days during the week. People have always responded very well to it.”
On May 11, carriers in Greenville will collect from the mailboxes and door steps of local homes, with many area churches also planning to take part. Drop boxes are available at each of the local Post Office locations.
Monetary donations to the NALC National Food Drive will also be accepted.
The drive is held annually on the second Saturday in May in over 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.