Post office, food bank helping to feed families

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

The only thing Selma residents have to do to feed the hungry in Dallas County is leave a few cans by their mailboxes.

Selma’s postal carriers on all routes will be collecting food Saturday for this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive, which is now in its 16th year. The food collected will go to the Selma Area Food Bank.

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Last year’s drive raised 8,017 pounds of food that was dispersed to individuals and families in Dallas, Marengo, Perry and Wilcox counties.

The food bank supplies 77 agencies that serve more than 4,000 people and processes one million pounds of food per year.

Christine Weerts of the Edmundite Missions, which operates the Bosco Food Kitchen, said most people don’t think of Selma or its residents when they think of hunger.

“In the month of March, we served 1,000 more meals than the month before,” Weerts said. “When the economy shuts down, people lose jobs, but then you have the cost of food going up and the cost of gas going way up. You just don’t get as much for your money anymore, and that really hurts the working poor.”

For Saturday’s food drive, carriers will pick up the food while going along their regular routes within the county.

James Roberts, acting customer service supervisor for the Selma post office, said postal carriers have been delivering food cards and bags for non-perishable food items along their routes all week.

“I think the employees enjoy it and feel like what they’re doing is a good thing,” Roberts said. “They really get into it. And when you think about it, it’s really extra work for the employees, gathering the bags and stuff, but they don’t fuss about it or anything.”