Letter carriers food drive slated May 11

PARKERSBURG – The 21st annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers will be held on May 11.

The event is held each year on the second Saturday in May when carriers collect non-perishable food donations while making their rounds. The donations go to local food pantries.

Local donations totaled about 44,000 pounds in 2012, said Roger Francis, Branch 481 food drive coordinator in Parkersburg.

He hopes to raise another 6,000 pounds, setting a goal of 50,000 pounds for 2013.

“That’s my goal,” Francis said.

All carriers in the 261 zip area are participating from Parkersburg, Vienna, Williamstown, Ravenswood, Paden City, Sistersville and New Martinsville, he said. For the first time rural carriers in the Rockport and Washington, W.Va., areas will participate in the collections.

A collection also organized at Neale School in 2012, Francis said. He’s trying to organize collections at other Vienna schools and may expand to other schools in Parkersburg, Francis said.

To participate in the drive, leave a can of non-perishable food at the mailbox and the letter carriers will collect them. Items needed are canned tuna fish, peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and spaghetti sauce, cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix, sugar and flour, cooking oil, dried beans, syrup, soup, canned meat and canned pasta products, Francis said.

The collections will be distributed to 30 food pantries in the 261 region, Francis said. For more information, call Francis at 304 482-6681.

Of the 44,000 pounds locally collected last year, 18,405 pounds were collected in Parkersburg, followed by Vienna where 10,300 pounds were collected.

Nationally, thousands of carriers across the nation collected more than 70 million pounds of food in 2012. Over the last 20 years, more than a billion pounds of food were collected.