The 22nd annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive is set for May 10. During this annual event sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), residents are asked to leave a bag of nonperishable food items by their mailboxes. Letter carriers will pick up the bags on their regular runs and deliver them to a food bank or charity. Residents may also drop food off at the local post office.
Last year, the carriers collected 74.4 million pounds of food across the country.
Food collected in Vicksburg goes directly to the South County Community Services (SCCS) Food Pantry, according to Danna Downing, executive director of SCCS.
The drive was originally discussed at an NALC national convention and management jumped on board right away, said Ron Eaton, retired Kalamazoo postal worker and Vicksburg resident. He estimates that about 72 tons of goods are collected each year by the Kalamazoo area letter carriers.
Originally, the food all went to Loaves and Fishes and they divided it up among the agencies serving food needs in the county. Now what is collected in Vicksburg and Schoolcraft goes directly to SCCS, he said.
Before donating food, be sure to pay attention to the expiration dates on the canned goods, said Downing. Last year, 25 percent of the donated food had to be disposed of because it was beyond the “use by” date.