Claremore postal employees are no strangers when it comes to stamped envelopes, but next month, letter carriers will deal with a different kind of stamp — the stamping out of hunger.
On May 11, all Claremore letter carriers, rural carriers, and other postal workers will be collecting non-perishable food donations from curbside mailboxes as they make deliveries on normal routes during the annual “Letter Carrier Food Drive.”
“This year, as every year since it started, the Letter Carrier Food Drive is the largest single-day food drive in the nation,” said Deborah Davis, city carrier, Claremore Post Office. “All of the food items collected (in Claremore) stay here, benefiting Claremore families through our local food pantries.”
Since 1992, the Letter Carrier Food Drive has been the last “significant” food drive for the season, Davis said, and with the current state of the economy still in recovery, a great need for contributions remains.
“We used to have a (collection) goal of 10,000 pounds (of non-perishable food items), but in recent years, we’ve increased that to 12,000 pounds — there are just so many more families in need this year due to the economy — there are many families still in need,” she said. “So many people are struggling to make ends meet and just put food on the table — this is our chance to show our support of them.”
According to statistics found on the National Association of Letter Carriers website (www.nalc.org) in 2012, postal carriers collected more than 70 million pounds of food nationally.
The drive is held annually on the second Saturday in May in more than 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia.
Locally, Reasors, Warehouse Market, Wal-Mart and area banks continue to contribute their resources to aid the letter carriers on this annual drive.
Davis said postcards were mailed out to remind people of the drive, and she’s hopeful for yet another successful year.
“Claremore residents have always been extremely generous during this food drive, and we’re hopeful that they will be again this year,” she said. “We’re so appreciative for their generosity and are glad to be involved in a campaign that helps those in need.”
The 21st annual Letter Carrier Food Drive will be all day May 11.
To participate, leave non-perishable food donations in a bag near your mailbox which Claremore mail carriers will pick up on their normal route for redistribution to area food banks and food pantries.