U.S. Postal Service customers in Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties are urged to participate in the 21st annual National Letter Carriers Food Drive on May 11. This is the nation's largest one-day food drive.
Letter Carriers and volunteers will collect nonperishable food during their regular deliveries.
The annual "Stamp out Hunger" food drive will assist in replenishing food banks and pantries. Food banks are notoriously empty during summer months and the need for food is even greater since many children no longer have the benefit of their school food program.
Collected food donations will be delivered to the Harry Chapin Food Bank and Wake Up America in Lee County, Collier Harvest in Collier County and other participating agencies. All food donated is distributed to at no cost to the participating agencies.
Monetary donations are also accepted; checks should be made payable to the Harry Chapin Food Bank or Wake Up America in Lee County and Collier Harvest in Collier County.
Virtually any kind of food may be donated in unopened, non-breakable containers. Items especially in need are peanut butter, tuna, rice, beans, canned meats, fruits, vegetables and soups.
Individuals who will not be able to participate on May 11 - seasonal residents and visitors, especially - may drop off their food items in advance at any Post Office for inclusion in the food drive.
The Postal Service is also seeking volunteers to help make it the most successful food drive yet:
n Volunteers are needed to assist rural letter carriers who use their private vehicles for mail delivery. Contact Debi Mitchell in Lee County at (239) 573-9638 and Jesse Costin in Collier County at (239) 643-4716.
n Volunteers are also needed to assist with food sorting. Contact Bedzaida Bryen at Harry Chapin Food Bank at (239) 334-7007, or Kim Berghs at the United Way at (239) 433-2000, ext. 260.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
Debra Mitchell is a spokeswoman for U.S. Postal Service.