On May 10, letter carriers in Putnam County will deliver more than mail as they participate in the United States Postal Service's 16th Annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Food Drive.
The Greencastle Post Office is taking the lead in the project. On this day, postal customers are asked to leave bags or boxes of non-perishable food items next to their mailboxes. Letter carriers will pick up the donations, which will be taken to the Putnam County Senior Center for distribution.
Tubs for donations will be set up at post offices in Bainbridge, Roachdale, Russellville, Cloverdale, Fillmore and Putnamville. Letter carrier Janie Briones, who has been with the post office since 1992, helps coordinate all aspects of the food drive. This will be her fifth year to participate in the event.
"I've seen the food pantry before and after the drive. It's unreal. It gives you a real sense of helping," said Briones.
"Locally, we collected 2,880 pounds of food last year," Briones reported.
During the 2007 drive, 70.7 million pounds of food was collected by the 300,000 members of the NALC and delivered to local community food banks, pantries and shelters.
NALC works in partnership with the AFL-CIO Community Services Network, America's Second Harvest, the Nation's Food Bank Network, Campbell Soup Company, Valpak and United Way of America.
The Senior Center typically collects any type of food item including canned tuna, canned meat, canned vegetables and fruits, fruit juices, cereals, soups, boxed macaroni and cheese, dry potato flakes or other dry potatoes, peanut butter and toilet paper.
Additionally, items that are given away in every box or bag include cake, brownie, cookie mixes, jellies, ketchup, mustard, pickles and crackers.
Cards informing residents about the food drive will be delivered about one week prior to the May 10 pick-up date.