Belton citizens donate more than 9,000 pounds for annual NALC food drive
Monday, 04 June 2012 by Matthew Girard
Postal workers of Belton delivered more than 9,000 pounds of donated food to the Helping Hands Minsitry Food Pantry last Saturday during the National Association of Letter Carrier's annual "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive.
"The citizens of Belton did a really good job contributing this year. We had lots and lots of food," Belton organizer Wendall Wilkinson said.
Last Saturday, citizens were asked to donate food and to leave the donations by their mail boxes for the carriers to pick up.
Helping Hands Executive Director Rucker Preston said the drive is a big boost to the food pantry and its clients.
"This is a time of year when food donations and financial donations are down, so the food that we get in is a major contribution," Preston said. "People don't usually think about food drives at the end of the school year because they are thinking about the upcoming summer, so it's a big boost for the pantry."
Letter carriers across the nation participated in the event, which is in its 20th year. Last year, 70.2 million pounds of food was collected nationwide during the drive.
"I think it's important to take advantage of an opportunity to help out the community," Wilkinson said. "It's a pity we only get to do it once a year. But I do think when times are hard, people really do reach out and do what they can to help."
This year 210,000 letter carriers, representing nearly 1,500 NALC branches, delivered donations to local Feeding America food bank and hunger relief organizations in more than 10,000 communities. According to Feeding America, one in eight Americans rely on the organization for food and groceries, and the organization distributes 3 billion pounds of donated food and grocery products annually.
Preston said the clients of Helping Hands are grateful for the variety of items donated through drives such as Stamp Out Hunger.
"The clients notice too, because when we order food from the food bank there is a vary small variety compared to what we get from food drives," Preston said. "When we order from the food bank, we might get four to five different food items for the week, but because of the drives we have a lot more variety for our clients."
For more information about the Stamp Out Hunger food drive, visit www.helpstamouthunger.com or www.facebook.com/StampOutHunger.