The amount of food collected has dropped from a high of 113 tons in 1998 to 86 tons in 2001.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The 10th annual National Association of Letter Carriers' food drive, coordinated in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana Counties by NALC Branch 385, is Saturday.
That day, area residents are asked to put nonperishable food in containers near their mailboxes before their carrier comes, or take it to a post office, where containers will be in the lobby.
Part of campaign
Branch 385's food drive is part of the NALC's Stamp Out Hunger campaign, conducted in more than 10,000 cities and towns. National sponsors are Campbell Soup Co. and the Priority Mail division of the U.S. Postal Service.
The food collected locally is distributed to area food banks, operated by the Salvation Army, St. Vincent DePaul, Second Harvest and the Gleaners Food Bank, said Mike Elias, customer relations coordinator for the Youngstown district.
"Unfortunately, over the past few years, the amount of food collected locally has been on a downward trend. The high point was 1998, when 113 tons were collected in the three-county area. Since then, 92.5 tons were collected in 1999; 87.5 tons in 2000, and 86 tons in 2001.
The food collection comes at a critical time of the year and makes a crucial difference in the lives of thousands of hungry children and adults during the summer months, said John Dyce of Branch 385.
"We hope to make this, the 10th anniversary of the letter carrier's food drive, the best yet. But, we need the help of the entire community," he said.
Nationally in 2001, the letter carrier's food drive collected 70.1 million pounds of food.