Postal employees prepare for food drive

By Michelle Seeber

The National Association of Letter Carriers in Portales is working with the U.S. Postal Service to prevent hunger among the needy.
Letter carriers in the community on May 8 will collect canned and packaged food left in or near mail boxes and give it to the Community Services Center in Portales.
Portales Post Office Supervisor Lea Anne Johnson said the donation to Community Services Center was being made at the request of Warren Wortham, former president of the local carrier union at the post office.
He asked if we could donate the food supplies to them, she said Wednesday.
“We ask that people put (non-perishable) food by the mailbox or in the mailbox or just set sacks of food around the mail boxes, and we’ll catch it,” Johnson said. “We’ll be sending out cards to inform people the Wednesday and Thursday before (the pick-up date).
“It’s a good time to do this, because generally at this time of year, the food supplies are down,” Johnson said. “We actually got a call from the Community Services Center a month ago saying that they were almost out of stock.”
Letter carriers will be wearing T-shirts advertising the food drive, she said.
The NALC, partnering with the U.S. Postal Service, conducted its 11th nationwide annual “Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive” last May, according to the U.S. Postal Service’s Web site (www.usps.gov).
It was the biggest one-day drive in the nation in which postal employees, NALC members and rural letter carriers collected food to raise public awareness to help combat hunger.
According to the NALC, letter carriers collected about 62 million pounds of food last year, and since its organization in 1993, the drive has netted more than 500 million pounds of food.
Other partners in the food drive are Campbell Soup, America’s Second Harvest and local offices of the United Way and the AFL-CIO.
Making the donation is easy, because food can be left at the mail box.
The organization said canned juice, pasta, cereal, soup and rice make the best non-perishable foods.
Representatives with the Community Services Center could not be reached for comment.