By Will E Sanders
PIQUA — As a city mail carrier, Kris Brown knows the arrival of the postman is synonymous with the delivering of bills and junk mail.
On Saturday, however, area mail carriers will be delivering some good news to the community as they participate in the nation’s single largest food drive, Stamp Out Hunger, hosted by the United States Postal Service.
Brown, who has helped organize the food drive for the last 19 years during the food drive’s 22-year national history, said last year postal carriers and a few dozen volunteers collected nearly 5,000 pounds of food and other non-perishable goods in the Piqua area.
On Saturday prior to mail delivery, residents are encouraged to place food items, such as canned goods, cereal and other unexpired, unopened food items, in a plastic bag and hang it on or place it near their mailbox for pick-up.
This year the Piqua Post Office will be one of nearly 1,500 post offices across the country participating in the food drive, which nationally last year collected more than 74 million pounds of food. During the program’s history, well over one billion pounds of food have been collected.
All donated food items will stay in the city of Piqua and go to one of four local food banks, Brown said. Similar donations will be picked up in Covington, Fletcher and Houston as well by Piqua Post Office employees and will be dispersed to food banks in or near those villages.
Locally, food stuffs collected in Piqua will be sorted and shared between the Bethany Center, 339 South St., and food banks at the Greene Street United Methodist Church, 415 W. Greene St., Victory Baptist Church, 1601 South St., and St. James Episcopal Church, 200 W. High St.
“Everything that is donated in Piqua, stays in Piqua,” Brown said. “Everything stays here.”
Mail carriers will be delivering small postcards to residents in the mail to remind them this week and residents who choose to donate should place their items outside prior to mail delivery. The collection of food will continue throughout the day.
“Everybody looks at the mailman or letter carrier as, ‘Here comes more junk mail or more bills,’” Brown said. “This is our good deed to the city of Piqua and we are collecting food for the less fortunate.”
For more information on the program, visit www.helpstampouthunger.com.
Will E Sanders may be reached at 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.