Postal workers collect food for needy

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Summer can be a difficult time for those who struggle to fill their pantries, but on Saturday those in need got some extra help from postal workers and some Good Samaritans.

Post office employees collected food from residents who took part in the national food drive called Stamp Out Hunger.  According to the U.S .Postal Service, this is America's largest single-day food drive.

It's a lot of work to pick up and deliver mail, but when you add grabbing bags of food it makes work a bit more challenging.

But, for these postal workers helping those in need makes it all worth it.

"We go out and we spend more effort today then probably any other day out the year. We're collecting food for food pantries, local churches, anybody that basically asks us for donations from this day," said Frank Morris with the National Association of Letter Carriers.

People from zip codes all over the coast left food by their mailboxes.

"Basically they were asked to set a bag of food out at their mailbox and when we came by to deliver the mail we would pick it up from them," said Morris.

As mail carriers returned with food donations various church groups and food pantries collected what they needed. They say summer is always a hard time because of fewer donations.

"We get a lot more during the holiday seasons. Easter is really popular all around that, but then it does fall off and people don't remember that people are hungry all year round. People are losing their jobs all year round," said Christin Anderson with Nugent United Methodist in Orange Grove.

Delmar Robinson with St. Paul United Methodist in Biloxi came to pick up food for his church's pantry. He says St. Paul's helps to feed close to 100 people three times a week.

"With cutbacks in the SNAP program, it has an adverse impact on food. Many people are not aware that there are people that are in need of food every day," said Delmar Robinson with St. Paul United Methodist in Biloxi.

Officials say last year 120,000 pounds of food was collected by Gulf Coast postal workers. While there's no word yet on the amount collected this year, officials say they've seen an increase in donations every year.

If your church or food pantry is in need of food you can call the National Association of Letter Carrier's local chapter at 228-233-0251.

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