Rice, peanut butter, cereal, pasta, and canned fruits and vegetables will be among the items postal carriers will be collecting this weekend during the nation's largest one-day food drive.
Local letter carriers will join others in thousands of cities and towns nationwide to collect food this Saturday, May 14, as part of the National Association of Letter Carriers' 30th annual “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.
Carriers will collect nonperishable food donations left beside or in mailboxes and post offices. The food will be delivered to local community food banks, pantries and shelters.
Since the drive began, total donations have surpassed 1.8 billion pounds of food.
Orangeburg donations will be given to Cooperative Church Ministries of Orangeburg and The Samaritan House.
The food drive has not been held since 2019 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re pleased to see that the post office has restarted the program, and we really appreciate all that they do and have done,” CCMO Executive Director Barbara Troy said.
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CCMO, located at 2570 St. Matthews Road, is open from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Samaritan House Executive Director Henry Miller, who was at the Orangeburg post office Wednesday morning to help kick off this year’s volunteer effort, said the donations are a blessing.
“It’s a blessing that the community comes together to support the Samaritan House. It takes a community to maintain the shelter. We would not exist if it weren’t for the tremendous support that we get from the citizens of Orangeburg County. It’s amazing that people pour out their hearts and their blessings when it comes to taking care of the homeless population in Orangeburg,” Miller said.
Kenny Vogt, local coordinator of the local "Stamp Out Hunger" drive, said the Orangeburg post office gets support from area branches including Orangeburg, Bamberg, Denmark, St. Matthews, Santee and Vance.
“Just about every office in the area contributes. It feels good to do it again because I know there are a lot of needy people in the community that could use it. All my co-workers enjoy contributing,” Vogt said.
Canned meals such as soups, chili and pasta; 100% juice; peanut butter; macaroni and cheese; canned protein such as tuna, chicken and turkey; and canned or dried beans are among the desired food items.
Items that are not accepted are rusty, outdated and unlabeled cans; glass containers; homemade items; and open or used products.
Postal customers will be receiving notification cards and are asked to put their donated items in plastic bags. A bin will also be placed in the lobby of the Orangeburg post office for food items.
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