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Post Office Wants You to Leave Nonperishable Food Items at Mailbox on Saturday

One of the biggest food drives of the year to benefit low-income families in Northern Kentucky is set for Saturday, May 12.  And donors won’t have to go any further than their mailboxes to participate.

On that day, residents and businesses are asked to leave nonperishable food by their mailboxes, where their carriers will pick it up and deliver it to one of 11 nonprofits that provide food assistance to people who desperately need it.

The effort by National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 374 is part of the national Stamp Out Hunger drive, the largest such event in the U.S. Branch 374 carriers have participated since the drive started nationally 22 years ago, and last year they collected nearly 30,000 lbs. of food.

The drive couldn’t come at a better time, said Andy Brunsman, director of Be Concerned, a program in Covington that provided free food nearly 2,300 times in the first quarter of 2018. Food supplies from holiday donations have been depleted and the drive gives agencies an opportunity to replenish their shelves.

“Summer time is a slow time for donations because schools are out,” he said. “This drive helps to fill the void caused by the summer break.”

The drive makes for a long day for carriers, who in addition to their typical load of mail must also tote food their route customers donate. But carriers are glad to do it, said Gary Smith, who is heading up the effort for Letter Carriers Drive 374, because the need remains great.

Millions of Americans, including children, seniors and veterans, are hungry, Smith said. With most school meal programs suspended during the summer, kids who rely on those programs must find another source of nutrition. “Our letter carriers see these struggles in the communities they serve, and they believe it’s important to do what they can to help,” Smith said.

Branch 374 has collaborated with the Safety Net Alliance of Northern Kentucky on the drive the past six years.  The Safety Net is a collaborative of more than 150 organizations – nonprofits, churches, schools, government entities – that works to eliminate duplication and maximize efficiencies in services to low-income residents.

In addition to Be Concerned, agencies that will receive food from the drive are Action Ministries in Latonia, Fairhaven Mission in Covington, Brighton Center, St. Paul Episcopal Church Pantry, and Hosea House Soup Kitchen in Newport, Care Mission in Alexandria, Pantry of Hope in Highland Heights, United Ministries in Erlanger, St. Bernard Pantry in Dayton, and the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Northern Kentucky.     

-Staff report