Stamp Out Hunger: Leave bag of nonperishable items for postman SaturdayBy BETH BUNCH,
Saturday, May 12, marks the 26th anniversary of the National Association of Letter Carriers' "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive. It’s the second year that Community Bank of Hattiesburg has been providing bags for the foodraiser. Approximately 55,000 bags will be distributed to Pine Belt residents during this week. Bags with the message, "Fill a bag with food and bring hope to someone in need," will be left in mailboxes.
Food collection bins will be available in the post office lobbies in downtown Hattiesburg, on 40th Avenue, and in Petal for those who receive their mail in a post office box or drawer.
Food collected in these bags will be distributed among local feeding agencies Christian Services, Edwards Street Fellowship Center and Petal Children's Task Force.
Hattiesburg-area residents can fill their bag with nonperishable food and leave the bag by their mailbox on Saturday morning. Their letter carrier will pick up the bag and return it to the post office, where the food will then be distributed to the various feeding agencies.
However if you do not receive a bag or would rather drop food off, both Community Bank locations (U.S. 98 West and Hwy. 49 South) will be accepting nonperishable food items.
U.S. Postal Service employee Winfred Johnson, the local coordinator of this year's Stamp Out Hunger food drive, hopes Pine Belt residents will top 2017’s record-setting amount of food donations. Last year’s event brought in more than 83,000 pounds of nonperishable food for hungry neighbors. Johnson hopes the return of the brown grocery bags will make it easier for local residents to donate food items to this event.
Because of the volume of food donated last year, Community Bank will be renting two additional cargo trucks to help manage the food that is collected.
“Many carriers’ postal vehicles were so full last year they had difficulty completing their routes,” said David McCullen, Community Bank president. “We plan to off load from them at predetermined locations on Saturday, May 12. We are happy to be helping with such a worthwhile cause for the second year in a row. “It makes bank employees/staff feel good about helping the needy in the Pine Belt.”