LAKE CITY — Postal workers in Hamilton County collected a record amount May 11.
During the National Association of Letter Carriers’ annual “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive, 4,050 pounds of non-perishable food was picked up in Hamilton County, a record amount.
The letter carriers with the Jasper, Jennings and White Springs post offices in Hamilton County as well as Mayo Post Office and Suwannee County locations in Live Oak, Branford, McAlpin, O’Brien and Wellborn, thank their customers for the continued support and donations, which have made the food drive successful throughout its history.
The food collected during the drive is donated to local agencies and churches with food pantries that then make the food available to residents in need. In Lafayette County, Seven Gables and the Alton Church of God are recipients of the collected food, while the food pantries at the First Baptist Church in Live Oak as well as Christ Central Ministries, Melody Christian Church, Love INC, the Arc North Florida and Vivid Visions are the recipients in Suwannee County, where more than 10,000 pounds was collected.
“On behalf of the agencies and, ultimately, the families in need of the food, thank you to each and every postal patron for the food donations and to each and every letter carrier for proudly doing the extra work required,” United Way Executive Director Jennifer Anchors said in a release.
The United Way of Suwannee Valley coordinates the event. Coordinating the efforts locally in Lafayette County was Mayo Postmaster Patti Ferreira. In Hamilton County, efforts were led by Jasper Postmaster Lisa Roberts, Jasper Officer in Charge Greg Taylor, White Springs Postmaster Veronica Chesser and Jennings Postmaster Ken Stakich. In Suwannee County, coordinating the postal workers were Live Oak Postmaster Blair Beatty, Supervisor Dale Ratliff, NALC Steward Amy Greene as well as Branford Postmaster Brett Land, O’Brien and McAlpin Postmaster Sue Jones and Wellborn Postmaster Tonda Martinson.
The food drive comes at a crucial time of year for food needs in the community, according to the United Way release. Holiday donations have been depleted and summer is approaching with children that depended on the school lunch program now being out of school, increasing demands on the food pantries.