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Food donations plentiful

May 11, 2004|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

wandaw@herald-mail.com

Mail wasn't the only thing waiting to be picked up Monday from the loading dock at Hagerstown's main post office on West Franklin Street.

Seventeen large metal bins that usually hold mail were filled with more than 10,000 pounds of food donated by area residents who participated in Saturday's "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive. The National Association of Letter Carriers and the U.S. Postal Service sponsored the national food drive.

"For a one-day food drive to get 10,000 pounds of food, people did read our letters and opened their hearts to give," said Kelley Seiler, the area "Stamp Out Hunger" coordinator.

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Postmaster Richard Sheffield said about 40,000 postcards were mailed last week asking Washington County residents to donate nonperishable foods to help needy families.

National Association of Letter Carriers branch president Tonya Detrick said nearly 100 carriers collected 10,194 pounds of food from residents who placed donations in bags next to their mailboxes.

"A lot of guys who walk their blocks had to go back and drive to pick up the food," Seiler said.

The food was loaded Monday by Food Resources Inc., a nonprofit food distribution warehouse in Hagerstown.

Saturday's "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive resulted in the largest donation from a single organization this year, Director of Operations Lynn Jackson said.

"We were only expecting between 500 and 1,000 pounds," Jackson said.

Sheffield said this was the first year Washington County letter carriers participated in the national food drive. In previous years, the local carriers organized their own collection, he said.

"We all pulled together and it was a great service for the community. We'll more than likely do it again next year," Sheffield said. |5/11/04

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