NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Volunteers boxed up hundreds of pounds of food for the spring Letter Carriers Food Drive.
Residents could leave non-perishable food items next to their mailbox for the postal carrier to pick up during his or her rounds. The donations were taken to 107 Main St., where they were boxed and up
The spring event is sponsored by National Association of Letter Carriers Local 286 and coordinated with Berkshire Community Action Council North.
Marie Harpin of BCAC North said the group had to scramble to find new place to package the food because work is being done at the North Adams Armory, the usual location. David Carver donated use of 107 Main (which is getting a lot of use as a community site lately) and Big Y donated cardboard boxes for packaging.
Donations will be taken to community food pantries.
Update: Harpin told us Monday that the final tally was 7,000 pounds, a good number although not as much as the more recent record of 8,100. Harpin put it down to the lingering fiscal troubles that are forcing so many to pinch pennies.
Volunteers and postal workers haul food donations from a mail truck to the packaging site at 107 Main. An errant Toyota parked in the 'no parking' spot messed up the delivery somewhat, forcing the mail trucks to double park.
Next Saturday, mail carriers with routes in Pittsield, Dalton, Hinsdale and Lanesborough will be doing more than delivering and picking up mail.
Letter carriers will be collecting non-perishable donations for a food drive conducted by local branch No. 286 of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service and Berkshire United Way, on May 8. Donations will be distributed later to a number of local food pantries by volunteers from Berkshire United Way, Berkshire Community Action Council and Berkshire Youth United.
The NALC "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive is held nationwide and is the largest one-day food drive in the country. According to NALC, last year 73.4 million pounds of non-perishable donations were collected across the country, and this year the NALC expects to reach a record one billion pounds collected since the drive's inception in 1993.
The drive is held annually on the second Saturday in May in more than 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.
Residents interested in donating food should put their non-perishable items in bags and leave them by their mailbox.