POINT PLEASANT — The time of year is approaching once again where residents can give non-perishable food donations to those in need simply by sitting donations near their mailboxes.
This Saturday, May 11, the 27th annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive will be held.
Local letter carrier Mark Georgi, who works out of the Point Pleasant Post Office, with the assistance of his fellow letter carriers, will be picking up non-perishable food items while delivering mail on Saturday. He commented mailers should be arriving to residents this week regarding the guidelines of the food drive.
All locally collected food will stay local and be donated to the emergency food pantry located at the Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church.
Held on the second Saturday of May each year, the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is the nation’s largest one-day food drive, providing letter carriers, other postal employees and thousands of volunteers across the nation the opportunity to meld their forces together to conduct the drive in their local communities to benefit local food pantries. Ever since this nationwide food drive begin, the Point Pleasant Post Office letter carriers have participated.
For 10 years now, Georgi has been the coordinator of this event for Point Pleasant. Through his personal experience, Georgi has seen the effects of individuals who are in need of food and those who work at the Presbyterian Church’s food bank work hard to take care of those needs for individuals.
“Those at the food pantry make a difference to a lot of people,” said Georgi. “It’s something else to go hungry, it’s something no one should have to go through.”
Last year Point Pleasant’s letter carriers collected approximately 1,600 pounds of food, with the national average being 71.6 million pounds collected. Each year the letter carriers make it a goal to beat the amount of food collected from the previous year.
For residents who would like to participate, leave bagged nonperishable food items near mailboxes on Saturday. According to the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive website, the top requested non-perishable food items are cereal, pasta, pasta sauce or spaghetti sauce, rice, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meals (such as soups, chili and pasta), 100 percent juice, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, canned protein (tuna, chicken and turkey), beans (canned or dry). Also, donations of healthy, low-sodium, low-sugar items such as beans, oatmeal and other whole grains, and canola or olive oil can be put out as well. Do not leave expired items or those in glass containers.
The donations can be sat out earlier than when mail is expected to run as the carriers will have some helpers assisting with the pick up of the donations.
Some information from www.stampouthungerfooddrive.us was used in this article.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.