‘Stamp Out Hunger’ food drive benefits local nonprofits

'Stamp Out Hunger' campaign took place Saturday not only in the Pine Belt, but across the nation
'Stamp Out Hunger' campaign took place Saturday not only in the Pine Belt, but across the nation
Published: May. 13, 2023 at 11:20 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG Miss. (WDAM) - Pine Belt postal workers participated in the annual National Association of Letter Carrier’s “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive Saturday.

About 10,000 cities participate in this food drive, making it the largest one-day food drive in the nation.

USPS worker and food drive coordinator Dennis Mitchell said it’s the 31st year of the event.

“It’s the second Saturday in May, and we want to go out and help the people of the Pine Belt,” Mitchell said.

People were asked to leave out non-perishable food items by their mailboxes to be collected by letter carriers on Saturday. The food drive benefited nonprofits in Hattiesburg, including Christian Services, Edwards Street Fellowship Center, Petal Children’s Task Force and Salvation Army.

In Laurel, the Good Samaritan Center and The Glory House received the food donations.

Co-founder of the Glory House Grant Staples said he was thankful for this food drive because it helps them continue their mission.

“This food drive helps us feed roughly 900 to 1,000 families at our Bread of Life food pantry,” Staples said. “That covers about 10 counties worth of families.

Staples said The Glory House’s program allows people to pick the food items they need.

“They get a wider variety with a food drive like this bringing in several thousand pounds,” Staples said. “These types of food drives are what keeps us alive.”

Good Samaritan Center Director Beverly Odom said drives like this help the center feed more than 200 people per day. The Good Samaritan Center in Laurel provides a hot meal Monday through Friday as a drive-thru service.

“It’s just important to have a good hot meal,” Odom said. “A lot of the homeless, this is the only meal they get. We have to have the food to feed these people. We don’t want nobody to be hungry.”

Mitchell said this food drive usually brings in nearly a third of the food donations for nonprofits.

“Most the feedback I’m getting is real positive, as far as the amount we are going to pick up in the next couple of days,” Mitchell said. “We’re real excited about it and hopefully we can bring in some big numbers.”

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