Stamp Out Hunger! sees great turnout

Published 9:11 am Wednesday, May 12, 2010

United States Postal Carrier Shannon Huges collects a bag of cans Saturday during Stamp Out Hunger!.|Photo by Chandler Myers

The Atmore Post Office’s 14th Stamp Out Hunger! campaign was declared a success by Pat Reynolds, an employee with the United States Postal Service.

Reynolds, the former shop steward for the Atmore Post Office, once again led the drive sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC).

The Stamp Out Hunger! campaign, now in its 18th overall year, is the nation’s largest single-day food drive.

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Reynolds said this year’s drive had a tremendous response despite a little smaller poundage.

“It went really well,” Reynolds said. “We didn’t get as much food as we did last year, but we still had a good year.”

For the 14 years the Atmore Post Office has been participating in Stamp Out Hunger!, Atmore’s letter carriers have collected more than 125,000 pounds of food, according to Reynolds.

She also said this year the group collected a little more than average.

“We average collecting 6,500 pounds per year,” Reynolds said. “This year we collected right at 6,800 pounds of food. There have been a couple years where we almost made it to the 10,000 pound mark.”

With so much food being donated, it is easy to see that this food drive is popular with citizens.

Reynolds said the giving nature of people in Atmore has always shown for this event.

“It’s the giving heart of the people in Atmore,” Reynolds said. “They have always turned out for this event, and a lot of people go out of town for Mothers Day, but we had people bringing food to the Post Office Friday. They are constantly giving, and I tell them to keep giving beyond us.”

The food donated to the Stamp Out Hunger! drive goes to an important Atmore organization.

All of the canned food collected Saturday was immediately transported next door to the Atmore Area Christian Care Ministry.

Reynolds said the AACCM was chosen because they give to so many people.

“They service so many people through all of the churches,” Reynolds said. “Instead of us giving it out here and there, we just decided they would be the best people to donate the food to because they can help so many more people than we could.”

With the next Stamp Out Hunger! campaign around year away, the Atmore Post Office is aiming their sights high.

Reynolds said she wants to come close to the 10,000-pound mark.

“Our goal is to see if we can get 9,000 pounds of food next year,” Reynolds said. “I would love it if we could get to 10,000 but 9,000 would be a great number to hit.”