Thomasville carriers prepare for Stamp out Hunger
Throughout the country, postal workers are preparing for the 21st annual National Association of Letter Carrier's "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive on Saturday, May 11.
The nation's largest annual one-day food collection event is made possible by the efforts of mail carriers and other employees of the U.S. Postal Service. Held on Mother's Day weekend every year, the yearly event helps to restock the shelves of food pantries as supplies grow scarce through summer months.
"Mail carriers place postcards in all the mailboxes a few days prior to the event and ask the customers to leave nonperishable food items in their mailbox, said Fiona Chicosky, postmaster in Thomasville. “The mail carriers then go around and pick up the food. Last year nationally, more than 70 million pounds of food was collected through this drive."
Chicosky, who has participated in the event at other locations, said this is her first year on staff with Thomasville and she eagerly anticipates seeing what the Chair City community will do to support those less fortunate.
Some 13,754 pounds of food was collected in Thomasville last year, a great increase from 2011’s collection of 8,500 pounds.
The United Way is among the supporters of this effort. Lee Jessup, president of the United Way of Davidson County, believes the cause is worthwhile.
"This is such a wonderful thing for the U.S. Postal workers to do," Jessup said. "At the United Way, we hear from many of our agencies in Thomasville, Lexington, Denton and all over the county that the need for nonperishable food is still great. We are trying to help get the word out and encourage folks to donate some canned foods so others might be fed."
According to Chicosky, her office has shown great devotion in urging customers to place nonperishable food in their boxes prior to regular delivery.
"This is really about the mail carriers, because they are the ones doing the hard work," Chicosky said. "It's tough enough as it is to deliver the mail, nevermind collecting food."
Since 1993, nearly 1.2 billion pounds of food has been collected nationwide as a result of this drive. The list of needed items includes canned meats, peanut butter, grains, pastas, oatmeal, grits, soups, meal supplements, baby foods and toiletry items.
United Ways in Davidson County and Greater High Point lend their support of the one-day food drive.
Letter Carrier spokesperson Caroline Jones came out to help promote the food drive at a kickoff event held April 16 at the United Way of Greater High Point office.
Jones said she appreciates that Thomasville post office staff members, as well as carriers in post offices in High Point, worked hard last year to increase the amount of food collected.
Thomasville City Manager Kelly Craver, who chaired United Way of Davidson County’s campaign, sees the local needs very clearly.
“Thomasville agencies badly need these food donations to continue their effort to meet the needs of our community,” he said.
Items most needed include canned meats and peanut butter, grains, pastas, oatmeal, grits, soups, meal supplements and baby foods. Toiletry items are also appreciated.
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.