GREENCASTLE -- A nationwide effort to feed the hungry will have a presence right here in Putnam County on Saturday.
Since 1993, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) has conducted the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Each year on the selected date, letter carriers across the country have collected food while making their deliveries and pickups.
While Stamp Out Hunger is the nation's largest single day food drive, it is probably also the simplest. All residents need to do is leave non-perishable food by the mailbox on May 8, and the NALC will deliver it to a local food pantry.
Here in Greencastle, the effort is being coordinated by Janie Briones, who is participating for the seventh time. The biggest thing Briones or any of the participating carriers can emphasize is the food donated in Putnam County helps feed the hungry of Putnam County.
Wherever food is collected in the county -- from Russellville to Greencastle to Cloverdale -- it goes to a local food bank, serving the hungry citizens of that area.
Through 17 years of the event, the NALC has collected and donated 982.7 million pounds of food nationwide, topping out at a record 73.4 million pounds last year.
This year's drive is expected to push the 18-year total over one billion pounds. Campbell's, which co-sponsors the event with the NALC, has already earmarked a million pounds of food to go directly to the drive.
And in this drive toward one billion, Putnam County residents are encouraged to take part. It takes the simple action of leaving some non-perishable food beside the mailbox prior to Saturday's mail delivery -- just Putnam County people helping Putnam County people.