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Stamp Out Hunger benefits local food banks

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On May 11, the U.S. Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers participated in the nation’s largest single day food drive to “Stamp Out Hunger” in America.
On that day, the nation’s 175,000 letter carriers collected food donations from the homes of generous donors in more than 10,000 United States Communities.
Localities participated in the program as well, leaving boxes of canned food, peanut butter, cereals, pasta and rice by their mailboxes.
The Fries Post Office collected approximately 2,715 pounds of food, which was sent to Providence School for their Feeding America program.

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Postal Carriers Brian Grim and Margaret Bourne worked routes one and two that day, along with substitute carriers Jules Sizemore and Alan Hash.
Willing Partners, a thrift store and food bank in Galax, was one of the organizations selected to receive donations from the program.
According to Kathy Cooley, director of Willing Partners, it took three trips in a 2003 Chevy box truck to bring the food in from the loading dock at the Galax Post office.
Last year, Willing Partners received 7,425 cans of food as a result of the drive. This year, they did even better.
“We have at least 6,000 cans already on the shelves, and there’s 16 large boxes of items that we have not yet unloaded and sorted," Cooley said. "If those cans already counted were purchased in our local supermarket at 50 cents each, that would total $3,000. We are so thankful."
The drive provided around 50 jars of peanut butter, more than 100 cans of potted meat and Vienna sausage, more than 200 cans of soups and more than 500 boxes of pasta.
In addition, the food bank received an assortment of stuffing mixes, Jell-O, puddings, Hamburger Helper, crackers, cake and muffin mixes and condiments; more than 100 bags of flour, sugar, corn meal, pinto beans and rice; and several cases of soda and bottled water.
“I am going to estimate that the postal workers and local citizens have donated to us enough foods to supplement our USDA commodities for two months or longer,” said Cooley.
Willing Partners staff thanked all of the postal workers for the effort they put into the drive, and local residents who gave the food.
“It is very greatly appreciated," Cooley said.
Other partners with the nationwide program included the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, AARP, Feeding America, Campbell Soup Company, Valpak, United Way, AFL-CIO, Uncle Bob’s Self Storage, GLS Companies, Publix, Source Direct Plastics and Valassis.

For more information on these events or on Willing Partners, contact Cooley at 544-D E. Stuart Drive in the Galax Plaza Shopping Center, or call (276) 236-2072. For more information about the annual Stamp Out Hunger drive, contact your local post office or visit www.helpstampouthunger.com. “Stamp Out Hunger” can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.