Letter carriers collect 10K pounds of food in annual food drive

Letter carriers and representatives from United Way of Cullman County and Cullman Caring for Kids pose for a photo Monday morning. In front of them are some of the food items donated by Cullman County residents in this year’s Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The 27th annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive took place this past Saturday, with carriers in Cullman County picking up approximately 10,000 pounds of donated food on their routes. Staff from the United Way of Cullman County (UWCC) and Cullman Caring for Kids (which will receive the donations), along with post office staff, Monday morning helped load the goods that will help stock the food pantry.

UWCC Executive Director Becky Goff said, “This is a National Letter Carriers partnership, so all over the United States it happened. They got the bags and the people filled them up and put them in their mailboxes.”

Calls continued to come in to the post office Monday from people who still had food to drop off or that didn’t get picked up Saturday, so the total amount donated is expected to increase.

Goff addressed the post office staff, saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you! We appreciate you so much and all you did this Saturday to help collect food for our neighbors here in Cullman County.”

The 10,000 pounds of food were collected from eight city routes and 29 rural routes. Despite the rain, this year’s food drive was the most successful the Cullman post office has experienced.

Local letter carrier Dale Black has been heading up the food drive for 18 years now; he shared, “It seems like we got two more of the large containers this year. We do it this time of year because the kids are getting out of school and they aren’t getting the free lunches.”

Some of the carriers picked up so many donations that they had to come back to the office in the middle of their routes to unload their trucks.

Postmaster Kapsey Lewis said, “I had probably 10 carriers who had to come back in the middle of their route and go back out. They don’t mind at all. It can be the worst day, everything was falling apart Saturday, and they were still great. They are the best. I have worked at other post offices and they are the best.”

The letter carriers enjoy the food drive despite the extra work it takes.

Lewis explained, “They don’t mind. They know it goes to a good cause. They know it’s local and to people they deliver to. We deliver to every house and they get to know the people on their routes.”

After loading all the food on the truck headed to Cullman Caring for Kids, the nonprofit’s Executive Director Javon Daniel said, “I am just tickled to death.”

This time of year is when the shelves at Cullman Caring for Kids really need the boost. With the kids soon to be home from school, many are home cooking for themselves. Daniel said dry foods such as cereal and easy to prepare food like macaroni and cheese are among the greatest needs throughout the summer months.

Find out more at www.cullmancaringforkids.com.

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Christy Perry