Stamp Out Hunger at your mail­box

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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

CE­CIL COUNTY

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.

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