The Duncan Banner

May 9, 2013

The National Association of Letter Carriers prepares for food drive

Rebeka Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — If you’re looking for a way to give back to the community but don’t have much time to volunteer, not much is easier than setting a bag full of canned goods next to your mailbox.

The National Association of Letter Carriers is holding its annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Saturday. Letter carriers across the county will participate by picking up bags of non-perishable foods left out by those who live on their route.

“I’ve been doing it for several years, I’ve been here for 19 years and I was involved even before I came to Duncan,” said Matt Milam, Duncan coordinator. “It’s the time of year when food banks are at a low and need to be restocked.”

All of the food donated stays local with Duncan’s food going to Christians Concerned, Comanche’s going to Christian Helping Hands and the Marlow and Bray areas to Marlow Samaritans.

“Our numbers are through the roof this year (for those needing help) with a 50 percent increase from last year,” said Kassie Gilmore, Christians Concerned director. “All the support through this food drive helps us stock our shelves.”

More than 21,000 pounds of food was collected in Stephens County in 2012. What they are looking for is non-perishable food, preferably canned goods because the boxed goods are easily crushed by the cans. The food pantries request that you check the expiration date before putting them in your sack and no glass containers are allowed.

“You can leave your sack by the mailbox on Saturday and we have a hamper inside the lobby for anyone who is going to be out of town to drop their donation in,” Milam said. “If they still miss it, they can leave their donations the next day or two after by the mailbox.”

This event is something the letter carriers look forward to each year and will be seen sporting T-shirts promoting the food drive. Milam said it is something that brings city carriers and rural carriers together for one good cause and they want a bigger drive each year.

As the carriers pick up goods, their truck often gets full before they can finish their route. This is when the post masters and inside postal workers come to unload those trucks and take the donations on to their food pantry destination.

“It’s a group effort and we all work together and that’s a neat thing in itself,” said Milam.

“It gives all of us a sense of gratification to be a part of putting food out there for people in need. Duncan is a great town and people have a big heart for giving.”