Wheeling Post Office workers and volunteers will once again collect canned goods and other non-perishable food in an effort to "Stamp Out Hunger."
The 22nd annual National Association of Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is slated for Saturday and allows people to donate food to the needy by simply putting it out with their mail. Non-perishable food items should be placed in or at the home's mailbox.
Wheeling letter carriers will pick up the items and, at the end of their shift, take them to the Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center on 18th Street.
Photo by Shelley Hanson
Preparing for the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive are, front row, from left, Dominos Pizza owner Morgan Lacefield, mail carrier Misty Rayl; Elm Grove Riesbeck’s co-director Chalky Carroll; carrier John Fahey; P.J. Reindel, Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center director; and back row, from left, are carrier Jeremy Andrews; carrier Rick Foose; and Wheeling Post Office supervisors Kristina Barr and Jamie McKitrick.
There, workers and volunteers ready the items for distribution to other organizations and churches that feed the hungry, said center Director P.J. Reindel.
"It supports our food pantry and 16 other pantries," Reindel said. "There is a constant need. A lot of families rely on Catholic Charities."
He noted many families need help making ends meet, and such pantries fill that need.
Postal carrier Rick Foose, who organizes the drive each year, said he enjoys the work "because of its blessings" though it can be hard on one's back.
"At the end of the day, you're wore out," Foose said.
New this year, Foose said those who want to donate pet food or treats for dogs and cats can do so, too. Those items will be given to Webark Estates, which is run by Pam Lacefield. Her husband, Morgan Lacefield, co-owner of Dominos in Wheeling, gives the carriers pizza at the end of the day.
Foose noted across the country carriers collect about 75 pounds of food each during the drive. During the past 21 years, 1.3 billion pounds of food has been collected. Foose suggested that people place their donations inside a plastic bag to make it easier for carriers to transport.