Selma letter carriers to help ‘stamp out hunger’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 24, 2003

Selma letter carriers will be joining postal workers across the county Saturday, May 10, collecting food for the annual Help Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

The drive is organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers in conjunction with the United States Postal Service. The drive is co-sponsored by the AFL-CIO, Campbell’s Soup, United Way and America’s Second Harvest.

Postal patrons are being asked to leave a bag or box of non-perishable food items by their mailbox on May 10 to be picked up by their letter carrier. Some 100 million post cards announcing the food drive will be delivered next week.

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Last year the drive, the largest such one-day effort in America, collected a total more than 67 million pounds of food. In its 11-year history the drive has collected more than half a billion pounds of food.

All food collected locally will go to the Selma Food Bank.

The Food Bank distributes the food to non-profit agencies such as the local chapters of the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross for distribution. &uot;There is no cost to the individual that receives the food,&uot; Wiltsie emphasized.

Letter carriers are ideal candidates for such a task, according to NALC President William H. Young. After all, they walk down just about every street, avenue and alley in the country almost every day and are in a position to see things that many of us never see.

Wiltsie sees it, too. The Selma Food Bank is a satellite distribution organization of the Montgomery Area Food Bank, and serves Dallas, Wilcox, Perry and Marengo counties. It measures its outreach in pounds.

The need shows no sign of letting up. Said Wiltsie, &uot;We operate all year long. It seems the need is growing bigger with all the layoffs and closings we’ve had in this area in recent months.&uot;

Jackie Hughey, delivery supervisor for the Selma Post Office, said letter carriers look forward to the annual food drive.

Hughey said postal patrons are urged to hang their donations from their mailbox. Placing them on the ground, she added, can sometimes cause problems with ants.