NEWBERRY COUNTY — Each year the U.S. Postal Service holds its NALC Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive — the largest one-day food drive in the nation.
In recent years, though, donations of bags of food beside people’s mailboxes have been something of a mixed bag in Newberry County.
According to representatives of local post offices, some regions of the county report heavier donations and others, lighter.
Mail carriers with the Newberry, Prosperity and Pomaria post offices are all donating the food they collect to help stock the newly created Pomaria Food Bank under the leadership of Shelvy Ham.
“We really need nonperishable items such as peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, tuna, rice, dried beans and such. At the Pomaria Community Food Bank, we sure do appreciate the support of our local county post offices since the food we collect goes straight to people in this area,” Ham said.
Mail carriers collect bags of nonperishable food that patrons leave by their mailboxes on the second Saturday in May.
They deliver the food items to local food banks or food pantries.
Debbie Howell with the Prosperity Post Office said they collect food along their seven routes and this year the food will stock the Pomaria Community Food Bank.
Ronnie Derrick with the Newberry Post Office said they are delivering items collected by the mail carriers to the Pomaria Community Food Bank since it is a relatively new food bank.
“Last year we filled a van with food (and we anticipate even more response this year),” Derrick said.
The Little Mountain Post Office under the leadership of Chapin Postmaster Gregory Huggins is participating but will send the food gathered by its carriers to We Care in Chapin.
“We take any type of dry or canned goods,” he said. “(The food drive) has been a tremendous blessing to all the people and we look forward to the donations every year. Some people (in the area got confused about the date) and started leaving food at their mailboxes last weekend, in fact.”
Huggins estimated the Little Mountain area donated about 1,500 pounds of food last year.
According to the U.S. Postal Service, nationwide the one-day food drive has delivered more than one billion pounds of food the past 20 years.
With more than 50 million people facing hunger every day in America, including nearly 17 million children, this drive is one way to help.
To donate, place a box or can of non-perishable food next to the mailbox Saturday before the letter carrier delivers the mail.