On Friday, May 5th, Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee met with local letter carriers and the directors of local food pantries to proclaim Saturday, May 13, 2023 Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day in the City of Laurel.
This year’s event marks the 32nd year for food drive hosted by the National Association of Letter Carriers. Since its inception in 1991, the annual food drive has collected and distributed more than 1.82 billion pounds of food.
Each year on Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day, residents are encouraged to place non-perishable food items in or near their mailboxes for their letter carrier to collect. All of the items collected by letter carriers are distributed to local food banks.
Items collected in Laurel will benefit the Good Samaritan Center and the Glory House Ministries’ Bread of Life Center. Both organizations provide food to people in the community and operate on a combination of support from the Mississippi Food Network, the United Way of the Pine Belt Region, and, most importantly, private donations from community members.
“Every can helps,” Beverly Odom, Director of the Good Samaritan Center said. Her organization provides 200 to 250 hot plate lunches to those in need each day Monday through Friday and expect for that number to increase as schools let out for the summer. “Drive through and we’ll hand you a plate out,” she said. “Anyone can drop in and get a good meal. We are all about nutrition. It’s not just a sandwich and a bag of chips.”
They also help provide groceries to families in the community. “The elderly depend on us to supplement what they can’t do,” she said. “It makes you feel good to know that you are contributing to help someone else.”
The Bread of Life Center, a part of Glory House Ministries, focuses on sending bagged groceries home to families in need and provides dried beans and pastas, canned foods, and fresh meat and produce to 900 to 1,000 families in 10 counties.
“These kinds of things help keep us alive,” Director Grant Staples said of community food drives including the Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day.
Shareka Cooley, Vice President of the National Association of Letter Carriers, has been with the post office for four years and is looking forward to heading up what will be her first Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day. “Last year we had a good turnout, but we’re expecting more than ever this year,” she said. “It’s very important for people in the community to participate. It’s easy to do and it’s an honor to be able to help the less fortunate.”
Those wishing to participate may place non-perishable, non-expired food items including peanut butter, canned goods, rice, dried beans, pastas, powdered milk, wheat, flour, and corn meal, in or near their mailboxes on May 13th for their letter carriers to collect. Pantries can not distribute items that are past their use or sell by dates.
The proclamation read as follows:
Whereas, every year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect non-perishable food as part of the nation’s largest one-day food drive, distributing donations to local food banks; and,
Whereas, The Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is just one example of how letter carriers work to make a difference in the lives of those they serve, having collected and distributed more than 1.82 billion pounds of food since inception of the program in 1991; and,
Whereas, The City of Laurel wishes to recognize all letter carriers for their hard work and their commitment to their communities- but especially those in our own community whose efforts benefit those in need here in the Laurel/Jones County area; and
Whereas, We also recognize the noteworthy milestone of 32 years that the National Letter Carrier Food Drive celebrates in 2023.
Now, therefore, I, Johnny Magee, Mayor of the City of Laurel, Mississippi, do hereby proclaim Saturday, May 13, 2023 as Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day in the City of Laurel and urge all citizens to join me in supporting the food drive by placing non-perishable food items in or near our mailboxes on May 13 for pick-up by our dedicated mail carriers, so that together, we can all help to feed our hungry.