Letter carriers donate food items

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Imagine two-and-a-half tons of non-perishable foods items. That’s an example of the generosity of the people on the routes of letter carriers in Troy and Goshen.

Each year, letter carriers across the nation participate in the National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive. This year the city and rural letter carriers in Troy and Goshen collected more cans and packages of non-perishable foods than ever before.

“Actually, in the last two years, we have collected more than in the past,” said Patricia Jackson, a letter carrier for the Troy Post Office and the chair of the annual food drive. “I think that’s because there have been so many things, like the tornadoes that hit Alabama, that hearts have been touched and people are giving above and beyond. It was amazing to see how people responded this year.”

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Jackson said each year, the letter carriers in the Troy and Goshen office decide which charitable agency will receive the donated food.

“We rotate it each year,” she said. “Last year, we donated the food items to the Salvation Army. This year, we chose the Outreach End Time Deliverance Church because the church has an outreach program and is always in need of non-perishable food items for their food pantry.”

The Rev. Willie Scott, church pastor, said his church greatly appreciates the donation of items for its food pantry.

“We want to thank the Troy letter carriers, city and rural, and all of those who donated food items to the food drive,” Scott said. “We have a great need at our food pantry and this large amount of donated food items will go a long way to meet those needs.”

Scott said the Outreach food pantry has been in operation about 20 years and the church also operates a clothing closet and a homeless shelter.

“We have the most requests for food,” Scott said. “There are a lot of people who have lost their jobs and a lot that are only able to work part time. And, there are elderly people who are living on fixed incomes so we do have many requests.”

Raj Tyner, who is also a letter carrier, said often people use the letter carriers’ food drive as an opportunity to “clean out their cabinets.”

“But not this time,” he said. “Out of all those cans of food, we had very few that were out of date. And, we had a good number of canned meat items – even some hams.”

William McCleese, Outreach member, said canned meats and peanut butter are items that are in short supply at food pantries.

“We are always in need of those kinds of items,” he said.

Scott said the two tons of food that have been donated to Outreach church are being stacked in boxes due to lack of shelf space.

“If anyone has any shelves that they are not using, they would be a welcome donation to our food pantry,” he said. “We could then get more of the canned food and packages out for easier pickup.”

The Outreach food pantry is open to the public on Sundays and Wednesdays at its location at 22420 Highway 231 north of Troy and across from Kelly’s Food Mart.

The church also can be reached by calling 807-0400 or 868-6753.