Mailmen Nationwide Unite to Stamp Out Hunger

Mailmen Nationwide Unite to Stamp Out Hunger
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Letter carriers across the country unite to stamp out hunger in their communities.

In Joplin, mailman Tony Wills makes his daily route delivering the mail and picking up donated food along the way.

“The extra work is well worth it, because we know we’re giving back to the community and it’s an opportunity for our customers to donate to food banks without actually having to drive it down there,” says Post Office Branch 366 Food Drive Coordinator.

And that convenience is what intrigued one Joplin resident.

“I usually have a few extra cans in my cupboard and it is so easy just to go in and look and see what iI had and just put it in a bag and put it by the mailbox,” says Thelma Anderson.

Wills says every little bit counts as we head into the summer months, a time when many local food pantries are running low on donations.

“Not only does it taper down during the summer, but a lot of the corporate donations have dwindled away and it’s real important that we have something like this, a drive like this, to keep our pantries stocked,” says Sid Melton of We Care of The 4 States.

The group serves around 350 families a month. The director says the assortment of goods they receive from the day long drive allows them to offer more options.

“When we get corporate donations, it’s usually a pallet of something. And you know it’s nice to have a pallet of green beans and a pallet of corn. But the variety that comes in, in this kind of a food drive lets us have a greater variety of things to offer our clients.”

And for mailmen, it allows them to reconnect with the people they serve every day.

This is the largest one day food drive in the country. By the end of the day letter carriers collected 21,000 pounds of goods in Joplin. Last year 74 million pounds were collected nationwide.