Letter carriers plan food drive in Stamp Out Hunger event
Coordinator: 'The need is really strong right now’
Local members of the National Association of Letter Carriers hope Mesa County residents will do a little delivering of their own during the group’s annual food drive next weekend.
In conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service, letter carriers from Mack to
De Beque will collect food on their routes Saturday as part of the 17th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive.
Postal customers who want to donate should put canned, packaged and non-perishable food in a plastic bag and leave it wherever they receive their mail by Saturday morning.
All the food collected goes to local community food banks.
In Mesa County, that will include the Agape Food Basket in Fruita, Child and Migrant Services in Palisade, the Clifton Christian Church Food Program, the Community Food Bank, Grand Valley Catholic Outreach’s Soup Kitchen, the Rescue Mission and The Salvation Army.
Mesa County letter carriers have collected more than 100,000 pounds of food in years past, but that amount dropped to 58,000 pounds last year.
Linda Gaines, who has coordinated the local food drive every year since its inception, said she believes a lack of publicity contributed to a down year.
She said she hopes to rebound this year to previous giving levels, given the recession and the increased demand on food banks.
“The need is really strong right now, whether it’s because of unemployment,
underemployment, the cost of food, housing prices, whatever,” Gaines said.
“We just hope the community will turn out and support this one-day effort.”
Gaines said the food drive is particularly important at this time of year, because food drives are often conducted around the holidays and children will soon no longer have the benefit of a school-lunch program.