LANE COUNTY, Ore. — The annual two-week Letter Carriers Drive kicked off on Saturday. Organizers said residents generously provided the community with thousands of pounds of food, but they’re still short of their goal.
Last year, the drive brought in about 165,000 pounds of food. This year, organizers are hoping for the same. As of Saturday evening, they’ve hauled in just more than 52,000, so there’s still a long way to go.
On Saturday, letter carriers all over Lane County did double duty to fight hunger in their community.
Letter carrier Chris Nessmith said, “Today, what we’re doing is going along our normal routes, going door to door and hopefully we’ll find canned goods, dried goods and food stuffs that can benefit people in the local community.”
As they dropped off mail, they picked up donations for their hungry neighbors. While this isn’t the first Letter Carriers Drive of the year–the national event is in May–it is the one that started it all. And it’s the one closest to their hearts.
“We kept our traditional Christmas drive because that’s when people are really hurting around here. That’s when the mills were shut down and guys got laid off. Or given the economy now, people just don’t have jobs, and like I said this is just a chance for us to give back,” said volunteer and retired letter carrier Bruce Meier.
Postal workers seemed grateful to be able to give back to the community they live and work with so closely every day. Organizers said the community is so thankful for their efforts.
“I just recently got to witness someone getting a food box. I was at a pantry and they weren’t open and he kind of persisted saying he couldn’t make through the week. There’s such an attitude of gratitude from these people that get these boxes,” said Food for Lane County Food Resource Developer Alicia Hines.
Organizers are still over 100,000 pounds short of their goal, but believe that with everyone’s help it can happen.
“It’s just such a small thing that we can do to help our community, but if everybody just gives a little bit, it makes a huge difference,” said resident and donor Deb Dotters.
There’s still one weekend left to donate. Folks can just leave any non-perishable foods outside their door this coming Saturday, Dec. 8.