05/08/05 — Letter carriers want to insure hungry have access to food

View Archive

Letter carriers want to insure hungry have access to food

By Winkie Lee
Published in News on May 8, 2005 2:02 AM

During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, food donations pour in to help the hungry of this community.

By spring, however, many nonprofit organizations' pantries are becoming empty.

The National Association of Letter Carriers wants to change that.

So do local members of the organization. For that reason, they are joining together for the eleventh year in a row to collect food for the hungry, and they're asking for your help.

On Saturday, letter carriers will collect cans or boxes of nonperishable foods from people's mailboxes. The food can be placed in, on or around the box.

The food will be given to the City Rescue Mission of Goldsboro, Community Soup Kitchen of Goldsboro, Lighthouse of Wayne County, Salvation Army, Society of St. Vincent de Paul and United Church Ministries.

It will be collected from the 27530 through 27534 Zip code areas in Goldsboro.

It is asked that glass containers not be given.

If you prefer, you can take food to either of the local post offices -- the one at 200 N. William St. or the other at 3100 Cashwell Drive -- Monday through Friday.

Though Saturday is the official collection date, you can also leave food in or at your mailbox throughout the week, says Cliff Barker of the Berkeley Post Office.

The contributions make a difference.

"Right now, our food pantry's low," says Mary Bollin, co-director of The Lighthouse of Wayne County, which helps abused women and their children. The drive "will really supply it and help us get through the summer months."

The Lighthouse receives more requests for food during the summer because children are not being fed at the schools, she adds.

Doricia Benton, director of the Community Soup Kitchen, calls the food drive a blessing.

"It keeps our program going," she says. "In the past, we've received between 13 and 14 barrels of food. That lasts a long time."

On Saturday, volunteers from participating agencies, local churches and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base will help carriers sort and load the food. Security-Atlas Storage and The Salvation Army are lending large trucks to help in the storage and transportation of collected food to the agencies.

Post office supervisors and clerks will donate their time to clear and organize the mailroom floor, and volunteers will divide the food.

Campbell Soups is donating 36,000 flyers, which will be placed in each post office and mail box before the drive as a reminder.

The United Way of Wayne County is also assisting with promoting the drive.

The food will be delivered to the agencies on Monday, May 16. The goal is 20,000 pounds of food, according to Barker and Suzie Acree, the United Way's director of Community Investment.

Last year, more than 70 million pounds of food were collected nationwide. In Wayne County, 17,800 pounds were collected.