HAZARD—Through rain, sleet, snow, and hail, couriers for the United States Postal Service will deliver the mail—and will also, apparently, deliver food donations. After not being able to participate for the last few years, the Hazard Post Office will join other post offices in a nationwide effort to collect food for the needy in their communities.
The National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is a national movement in which letter carriers pick up food donations at the mailbox that will go to a local charity or cause.
Hazard Post Master David Smiley said the drive will benefit the Corner Haven Crisis Center, the homeless shelter in Hazard. Donations will be picked up on Saturday, May 10, but couriers would only be picking up donations from residents in the 41701 ZIP code area. He added, though, that anyone can donate on that day by bringing any nonperishable items to the Hazard Post Office.
“What we’re going to do is keep it here in Hazard and help the people of Hazard, the homeless that need the help, that’s what our plan is. Nationally, that’s what they do, they keep it in the hometown. We’ve been doing it for over 20 years. In the 20 years, it’s been over a billion pounds of food that they have gathered,” Smiley said.
Smiley explained that couriers would be picking up donations at the same time they would normally pick up mail on their routes, so anyone wishing to have their donations picked up should have them ready at the same time they would expect their mail.
“They can put it in their mailbox, on their mailbox, beside their mailbox, just as long as it’s in a bag and it’s out there on time,” Smiley said. “They’ll just bring it back with their mail in the evening, bring it here to the post office, and then we’ll gather it all up in the next week and we will take it over there (Corner Haven).”
Smiley said the nationwide effort is meant to help decrease the amount of Americans that go to bed hungry every night—1 in 6. He added that while the office hadn’t really set a goal for the amount of food they wanted to collect, he knew that every can and box delivered would make a difference locally.
“We really haven’t talked about a goal; 500 pounds would be nice. I know that they really need it there at the shelter. Their funds are just like everybody else’s, it’s tight right now,” he said.
Smiley said he had no concerns, though, that the people of the area would not donate a considerable amount.
“People in Eastern Kentucky, they’re givers, and I really think that they’ll support this, it’s just getting the word out is the thing,” he said.
Amelia Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.