Stamp Out Hunger at your mailbox
— Hungry people in your neighborhood could be fed through your mailbox on Saturday.
The National Association of Letter Carriers holds its 24th “Stamp Out Hunger” campaign, inviting customers to leave non-perishable food at the mailbox. Carriers will gather the food and bring them back to their base.
A poll of the more than a dozen Cecil County United States post offices indicates that donation will find their way to local programs, such as Ray of Hope Mission Center near Port Deposit or The Help Center in Elkton.
“We take it directly to the Help Center,” said Mark Garcia, of the post office on West Main Street in Elkton, noting
he has personally made the delivery in the past.
“We like keeping it local,” said Donna Staley, postmaster in Rising Sun. “We’ll be taking our donations to Ray of Hope.”
In Cecil County, there are at least 18 organizations committed to feeding programs. Recently that job was made harder when the Maryland Food Bank, from which these programs were getting a large portion of its food, raised delivery rates from $50 to $300. A hub set up at Ray of Hope on Craigtown Road allows several groups in that area to share the delivery cost.
However, other groups, including the Chesapeake City Ecumenical Association and the HELP Center, have been unable to find a location for a hub so deliveries are stunted. CCEA did get a donation from Campbell Soup last month, which Eileen Viars, president, said would help three feeding programs under the CCEA umbrella.
According to USPS, 71 million pounds of food was collected nationally in 2015, which helped feed as many as 30 million people.
Donors can place items in a bag by the mailbox Saturday for pickup. At locations such as the Rising Sun post offices, which has a high number of P.O. box customers, Staley said walk-ins are welcome.
“We will have a hamper in the lobby for P.O. box customers who would like to drop it off,” Staley said.
Gerry Crockett, HELP Center volunteer coordinator, said the potential for donations is welcome since need always outweighs the resources available when it comes to food.