Thousands of pounds donated to feed needy in Selma area

Published 4:44 pm Monday, May 13, 2019

On Saturday, residents throughout the Black Belt and across the nation hung bags of donated canned goods from their mailboxes to be picked up by mail carriers and donated to local food banks.

The annual “Stamp Out Hunger” initiative, sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), is a boon for food banks throughout the nation and Selma is no exception – the donations collected off the mailboxes of residents in Dallas, Marengo, Perry and Wilcox counties all ended up at the Selma Area Food Bank (SAFB).

“It was great,” SAFB Executive Director Jeff Harrison said of Saturday’s food drive. “We had a good yield this year and we’re all excited.”

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The event makes for a long day for SAFB volunteers and mail carriers alike – once the donations are collected at the mail box, trucks bring them to local post offices where they are bagged and sorted by volunteers.

Once the last truck rolls into the post office parking lot, volunteers load up trucks to return to the local food bank.

Despite the long day, Harrison said local postal workers were enthusiastic about the job.

“It was an exciting day for all of us,” Harrison said. “It just worked out great.”

According to Harrison, this year’s collection of 7,300 pounds of canned goods, rice, beans, pasta, condiments and other non-perishable food items was the best the SAFB has seen.

“That’s tremendous for us,” Harrison said. “That far surpasses everything we’ve done in the past. This year we filled up every container that we carried up there. It just helps us replenish our stock and give our people a broad range of quality food that they can draw from. The community really did turn out.”

The SAFB has a variety of other efforts in the works, including a recent partnership with HArvest Select in Demopolis, which provides the food bank with locally-sourced catfish to be distributed to those in need.

“We hear a lot of feedback from recipients about how happy they are to get it,” Harrison said. “It’s a good thing for everybody.”

Additionally, the SAFB is gearing up for the Legal Food Frenzy, which challenges law firms to raise money for local food banks, and is planning to roll out a new license plate later this year.