GALION — Galion-area residents are invited to participate in Saturday’s 25th annual National Association of Letter Carriers’ annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.
It’s easy, just put your non-perishable food items near your mail box in a plastic or paper bag. That’s all you have to do. U.S. Postal Service letter carriers will collect the items and dole them out to organizations within the community for distribution.
During the last 24 national food drives, letter carriers have collected more than 1.5 billion pounds of food, helped by thousands of fellow postal employees, retired letter carriers, family members and friends.
Donations also also be dropped off at the Galion Post Office loading dock at the rear of the building on Saturday.
Here are some answers to a a few frequently asked questions about Saturday’s drive.
When do I put out the food? — Answer: the second Saturday of May, just set out your non-perishable food well before your letter carrier’s normal pick-up time. The earlier the better! Note that he or she will be delivering and collecting mail as usual, on top of collecting food donations, so that pickup time could be slightly later than usual. Your letter carrier might also have helpers. A good rule of thumb is to have the bags by your mailbox by 9 a.m.
What do you mean by “non-perishable food?” — Answer: The top requested non-perishable food items are: cereal, pasta, pasta sauce or spaghetti sauce, rice, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meals (such as soups, chili and pasta), 100% juice, peanut butter, macaroni & cheese, canned protein (tuna, chicken and turkey), beans (canned or dry). You also can donate healthy, low-sodium, low-sugar items such as beans, oatmeal and other whole grains, and canola or olive oil.
Is there anything I shouldn’t donate? — Answer: Please do not donate frozen food, homemade food or home-canned items. Please do not donate items that have expired or are in glass containers. In keeping with good food-handling and food-safety procedures, food that is opened, damaged, out of code or does not have the official ingredients included will be discarded by the food bank in the sorting process.
How can I help out (besides donating food)? — Answer: If you would like to volunteer with food distribution and sorting, or in any other capacity, call your local post office and ask to speak to the local food drive person there. Many food banks have a great need for volunteers on Food Drive Day as well as all throughout the year.
When will we know the results of this year’s drive? — Answer: All locals must have their results mailed in to the Letter Carriers’ national headquarters in Washington, DC, by the end of May. Typically, the tabulated results are expected to be revealed sometime in mid-June.