This Saturday, May 10, something wonderful will happen across our region. People will thoughtfully place purchased nonperishable food items in bags or boxes and leave them by their mailboxes. Soon, their letter carriers will come by on their routes and leave their vehicles to retrieve the food. A few hours later, they will back their heavily loaded vehicles up to the loading dock at the post office where volunteers will be waiting to unload, weigh and sort the cans, bags and boxes of food. In Charlottesville, those volunteers are from the Monticello Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, a group that has adopted this event as an annual community service day. The bins they fill are then place in waiting tractor trailers and brought to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank’s warehouse.
Saturday is the national Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, put on by letter carriers across the country. Our United Way has partnered with the letter carriers on this drive for at least a decade, recruiting volunteers and publicizing the day. Last year, 40,000 pounds of food passed through the main branch of the post office in that one day. Regionally, another 30,000 pounds of food was received in various post offices. Michael McKee, CEO of the food bank, points out that this one-day drive is critical to stocking the food bank for the summer months when kids are home from school and donations slow down.
Please remember to add a few of these most-needed items to your chopping cart and place them in the bag provided by your letter carrier (or your own bag or box) and leave them by your mailbox on Saturday. The 120,000 people the food bank serves each month - kids, families and seniors - thank you.
Posted by: Kim Connolly
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