LEWISTON — Like their counterparts across the country, 22 Lewiston postal mail carriers and four rural carriers will pick up food donations Saturday, May 8, as they deliver mail.
Saturday is the annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, the 18th year that letter carriers collect food donations for the needy as they deliver mail.
All food picked up in the Lewiston-Auburn area will go to the Good Shepherd Food-Bank, said Kathleen Walker, Lewiston’s acting postmaster. In Lewiston last year, mail carriers picked up 4,631 pounds of food, Auburn carriers picked up 4,387 pounds.
Residents are being asked to place food donations near their mailboxes. Food items needed include nonperishable food, canned fruits and vegetables, soup, tuna, rice, pasta and cereal. To avoid carriers having to deal with broken glass, such containers are discouraged.
The need for food is great, said Melissa Glenn of Good Shepherd. “One in seven Mainers are going hungry. People you would never think from their outward appearances” are in need, she said. The Good Shepherd is helping 36,000 Mainers each week with food, many of those are children and the elderly, Glenn said.
Carriers are volunteering to haul heavier loads today to collect food, and some are volunteering on their day off to help, Walker said. If collecting food means a longer day, mail carriers aren’t paid for that, she said. “We’re doing a thank-you barbecue for them tomorrow.”