Mail carriers help feed South Mississippi's hungry

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Red flags were left up at mailboxes around the country this weekend for the annual Stamp Out Hunger campaign. The National Association of Letter Carriers hoped to collect a setting 77.1 million pounds of food along mail routes. Some South Mississippi residents said making the donation is too easy to pass up.

This time of year Barbara Brewer likes leaves a little something extra at her mail box. She says the Stamp Out Hunger campaign is a great idea.

"I just think it's a wonderful thing for the mail carriers to help the people that are needy," said Brewer. "Those of us that have ought to give to those who don't."

All across South Mississippi, mail carriers dropped off letters and packages and picked up non-perishable food like canned vegetables and fruits, pasta, and rice. Everything collected went to food banks. Mail carriers said they are alarmed by a government report that shows in these difficult economic times the need for food assistance is greater than ever.

Some Coast residents said leaving food at the end of the drive way is a lot more convenient than to having to drive to a donation drop-off point.

"I'm always looking for ways to participate," said Marie Punzo who left food in front of her Biloxi home. "Usually I see them [donation bins] at the grocery store. I'm thinking I don't want to put in what I just bought. I have so much stuff at home. So being you can just take what you have here at home and put it out by the side of the street is very convenient and I'm more likely to do it that way."

Residents say if all their neighbors would give just a few cans, it would feed a lot of hungry people.

"It doesn't take much effort," said Punzo. Everybody has got stuff in their pantry that's probably been there a little while and they know they're never going to use. Or things that they have too much of. It's just so easy. I think that everybody if they just give a little bit, it would be a big help.

This is the 19th year for the Stamp Out hunger food drive.

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