Red mailbox flags, the signal of outgoing mail, will be a common sight on May 14. Mail carriers will be hauling off letters, bills and non-perishable food items for the 30th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. The National Association of Letter Carriers plan to collect donated food items for more than 10,000 communities across the country, including Webster County.
The Stamp Out Hunger event invites local panties to participate and help sort incoming food items.The cities of Rogersville and Fordland will be represented by SafeHaven Now; a food pantry and thrift store providing necessities to families in both communities. The organization is volunteering at the Rogersville Post Office on the day of the event. In years past, the post office has seen around 8,000 pounds of food during the drive. Mindy Masters, Director of SafeHaven Now, shares her excitement about the return of this event after COVID-19.
“This is the first year since 2019 that we've been able to participate in this,” explained Masters. “The National Letter Carriers Association has collected food donations from generous community members like those in Springfield and surrounding areas... The recipients include local food banks in our area.”
SafeHaven works hard to ensure that the Rogersville and Fordland community benefit from drives like this. The volunteers at SafeHaven see first hand the need in their communities, alongside local letter carriers.
“These letter carriers are on these routes and they see the conditions that these families live in and need the most,“ described Masters. “Their hearts are really into giving that helping hand to those families.”
The passion for the drive even results in a competition between carriers; who can bring in the most donated food items. A rivalry that does a little good for the Ozarks.
“Everything that comes out of our community goes right back into our community,” said Masters. “It's just neighbors helping neighbors.”
Those interested in participating are recommended to leave food items in the mailbox or in a bag hanging or next to the mailbox. Recommended food items include canned soups, meats, vegetables, fruits, dried pastas and rice. For those without a mailbox and want to participate, contact your local Post Office about coordinating a donation. For more information visit www.nalc.org.
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