Local Post Offices want to "Stamp Out Hunger"

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By Brian Garner

Postal patrons will find a little something extra in their mailboxes this week: special bags to fill with non-perishable goods for the 25th annual “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.

The drive takes place on Saturday, said Chester Postmaster Elton Curtis and Lancaster Postmaster Ronald Wylie.

Curtis said the bags for the food drive and the news of the food drive is being brought to the patrons by the rural and the urban letter carriers.

Last year, the Chester Post Office collected a third more food than the previous year. The food drive is sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Postal customers are being asked to use the special bags and fill them with a variety of non-perishable items and place them next to their mailbox or hang them on the mailboxes, said Curtis and Wylie.

Postal customers who do not have a mailbox but still want to participate can bring their donations by the front counter at the post office, said Curtis.

Curtis and Wylie pointed out everything collected in this community is used in this community; the Chester donations are given to the Chester County Ministerial Association’s Community Food Pantry at Purity Presbyterian Church, to the Turning Point and other assistance agencies with food pantries.

The Lancaster donations are shared with the food banks in Lancaster, said Wylie.

A local Boy Scout troop and other local groups will be on hand at the Chester post office to help sort the food, said Curtis.

Taking part in the “Stamp Out Hunger” drive is a way to do something for their communities, say the postmasters.

“In Lancaster and Chester, we want to be good partners with the community as far as giving back. Our carriers reach a lot of people’s lives; we deliver to every household every day across the United States.

The package services don’t do that. Our carriers touch the lives of our patrons in the community, and they see the need,” said Wylie and Curtis.

“We’re asking our communities to buy into this food drive 100 percent and just give as much as they possibly can. We know in Chester and Lancaster there are a lot of things going on now, high unemployment rates, and this is kind of a depressed area; a lot of people need some assistance. A lot of people ride by and they may not see that, but our mail carriers, they go into the neighborhoods where people are in need. People may ride through a town where it looks all rosy, but you go down these back and side streets, that’s where you really see people in need and people in despair,” said Wylie.

The postmasters suggested the items people donate should be non-perishable or dry goods, like canned items or grits, or rice or macaroni. No perishable items, such as milk or butter (Curtis has seen both donated) should be donated, because they do not keep well, they said.