HOLYOKE – In addition to delivering mail on May 9, postal workers in Holyoke and South Hadley picked up more than eight tons of donated food. The workers teamed up with the Providence Ministries Service Network for the 23rd annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.
The food collected will be donated to Margaret’s Pantry in Holyoke, as well as distributed in South Hadley by Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Pantry. Executive Director of Providence Ministries Service Network Karen Blanchard said she was happy with the generosity of the community.
“We’re thrilled, considering what’s going on. People have busy lives and they still manage to think about our hungry friends in the community and can still contribute in a meaningful way,” she said.
Blanchard said the collection of eight tons of food has been consistent for the past few years, although the earlier years of the drive saw higher numbers.
Those who donate leave the food out for the postal workers to collect, typically the Saturday before Mothers Day. Blanchard said the weather often dictates how many donations are received.
The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is a national event sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers and is the largest single-day food drive in the country. Communities in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam participate annually.
While the campaign happens on a national scale, the communities in which the drives are conducted feel the benefit of the donations. Blanchard said she is grateful for the donations received and the help from the community.
“I don’t know what more can be said. We want to thank [the community] for the continued support, especially with feeding and helping the poor in the area,” Blanchard said. “Without the support, we wouldn’t be able to continue our work.”
For more information about the National Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, visit www.nalc.org.