By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
?Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds? and on Saturday, May 12, having to pick up food donations will likewise not.
The Washington Post Office is asking the people of Washington to bag up some healthy and non-perishable foods on that Saturday and leave the bag for letter carriers to collect as a way of helping the hungry in Washington. Mail carriers Fawn Janecek and Bob Spenner said the Washington Post Office has participated in the National Stamp Out Hunger food drive for about 10 years now, with each year?s goal to do better than the last. Spenner said the goal seems to be reached every year. Last year the Washington Post office collected over 2,600 pounds of food that was donated to the Washington Food Pantry.
?We send out cards and bags the week before to let people know when it is,? Janecek said. ?We have the bag for you. You don?t have to go out and get anything. Just fill it up and that day we have volunteers who come out that day ? our kids and spouses mostly ? and pick up the donations.?
For people who wish to donate more food than will fit in the bags, she said the cans could be left next to the donation bag and the volunteers would still pick them up. Spenner also said people who wouldn?t be home on Saturday could drop a donation off at the post office. He also said some people put their donations out on their porch before the collection day.
Spenner said people should not be surprised to see people in private cars collecting the food. Janecek commented that it is a ?tedious day? carrying the added weight of the canned goods, for the five mail carriers who serve Washington as well as the volunteers, but it is worth it to help the hungry of the community.
After the donations are collected, they will be taken to the Church of God food pantry at the end of the day Saturday.
?In a perfect world we wouldn?t need food drives,? Janecek said. ?We wouldn?t need food banks, but that is not the case. We are doing this one day a year and if you can help out your community, your friends, your family, your neighbor that is having a tough time, if it is just a can of peas, that could go a long way for a family. We all go through tough times and if we can help out a family in need that is what this is all about.?
The National Association of Letter Carriers hosts the event every year. This is the 26th year the national group has held the collection.
Nationally, the food drive grew out of discussions in 1991 by letter carriers who served in areas with people in need. The goal was to have one branch in each of the 50 states participate. In 2016, 220 branches participated in the event. In 2010 the food drive surpassed one billion pounds of food.
People who are not going to be able to donate on May 12 can bring donations into the post office.