As letter carrier John Thome loads his truck for the morning, he can’t help but think of the people he and other Postal Service employees will be helping this Saturday.
“There’s definitely a need as far as the food shortage goes,” Thome said. Thome, who works for the Barrington Post Office, calls local pantries to notify them of the upcoming drive.
“They’re always low. So many people are out of work. Any little thing we can do to help is worth its weight in gold," he said.
On Saturday, May 12, the U.S. Postal Service, National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and other organizations are teaming up to fight hunger for the 20th annual Stamp Out Hunger in America event. The Postal Service touts this is the nation’s largest single-day food drive in local communities across America.
“It’s always been a good response,” Thome said. “It really touches your heart…that you’re helping these families.”
Residents of Lake Zurich and other communities are asked to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods next to their mailbox prior to the time of regular mail delivery on Saturday. Letter carriers will then take the donated food, which will be distributed to area food pantries. Donations can also be dropped off Saturday at the Lake Zurich Post Office.
“I am confident the 2012 campaign will be our best ever because the need continues to grow,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said.
Letter carriers around the country collected 70.2 million pounds of food last year, all donated by customers on their delivery routes, according to the Postal Service. The year 2011 marked the eighth consecutive year the total food collection was at least 70 million pounds.
The Stamp Out Hunger food drive began at the local level in the 1980s and went nationwide in 1992. To learn more, visit http://www.helpstampouthunger.com.