Valdosta Daily Times


May 9, 2013

Stamp Out Hunger

VALDOSTA — Neither Second Harvest of South Georgia nor the Valdosta-area postal workers knew what to expect 10 years ago when introducing plastic bags to the 2003 Letter Carriers’ National Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

It worked so well that Second Harvest, which is the area food bank, and National Association of Letter Carriers local branch 998 have been doing it ever since. They’ll do it again this week as the postal food drive returns Saturday, May 11.

Ten years ago, Second Harvest arranged for the plastic collection bags to be mailed to area residents prior to the food drive date. Frank Richards, the food bank executive director who had the idea for the bags, predicted an increase in donations, a healthy increase by several thousand pounds above the approximately 40,000 pounds collected in 2002.

They certainly didn’t expect to see the average 40,000 pounds of food collected double to 80,000 pounds. But that’s what happened. Postal trucks were loaded down with 40 tons of food.

Ever since, Second Harvest of South Georgia has mailed specially marked plastic bags to area residents prior to the collection day. National Association of Letter Carriers local branch 998 collects the goods, with help from volunteers also driving to area mailboxes to lessen the load on postal truck tires.

The food bank asks residents to be aware that volunteers will be wearing yellow or green Stamp Out Hunger T-shirts, or will have documentation proving their volunteer status. Second Harvest asks that people not call 911 or law-enforcement on these volunteers collecting food from mailboxes.

Other communities have adopted Richards’ idea of placing bags in advance in mailboxes, while Valdosta and South Georgia continue demonstrating a record-setting propensity for generous giving.

Last year, the postal food drive collected more than 200,000 pounds in the South Georgia region.

Regional residents should receive a reminder postcard by mail and the plastic bag Friday. If someone does not receive the specially marked bag, they may use any type of bag.

To participate, residents should place canned foods and non-perishable items in the bag. No perishable foods. No homemade foods. No glass containers.

Early Saturday morning, the filled bags may be hanged from or placed inside the mailbox. Residents of apartment complexes with cluster mailboxes may still place their bags of food by these clusters. The bags of food may be placed wherever a resident normally receives mail. Throughout Saturday as part of their normal routes, postal workers and other volunteers will collect the food bags.

If you are too late to put your bag on the mailbox, you may deliver your food to either the downtown or northside Valdosta post offices, where the letter carriers will be unloading their foods and Second Harvest will be filling trucks for transport to the food bank headquarters.

The drive represents the region and the nation’s largest single-day donation of food each year.

More information: Call America’s Second Harvest of South Georgia, (229) 244-2678.


Text Only
  • 140418-AR_Paul_Townsend001.jpg Graphic novelist draws on inspiration

    A few moments with graphic artist Paul Townsend is all you need to understand that his mind swirls with stories that he’s willing to explore on paper – no matter where they take him.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pompeys Pillar.JPG Pompeys Pillar

    Along their journey west to the Pacific and return east to St. Louis, Lewis and Clark left numerous marks recording their presence in order to validate a claim to the land for the United States.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • 1vsusr2014.jpg seen.yer-shoh

    Two of the most revealing exhibits each year at the Valdosta State University Fine Art Gallery are the fall and spring senior art shows.

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • Film Review Draft Day_Rich copy.jpg ‘Draft Day’ scores a field goal at the theater

    Our reviewer looks at the movies "Draft Day'" and "Rio 2."

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • emerging1.jpg Emerging Artists: VSU shines spotlights on student performers

    Three years ago, Valdosta State University Theatre & Dance created a twist on its seasons’ conclusions.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • bicycle safety.jpg SGMC, Kohl’s to host Bike Smart safety event

    SGMC, Kohl’s Department Store, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department and Safe Kids Lowndes County will host Bike Smart!

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140410-AR-Wake_Compound001.jpg Bringing wakeboards to Lowndes

    In college, many dream of their future career paths and, while some may seem far fetched, some people are able to make theirs a reality. Luke Tilt and Quinn Silvernale were able to do just that.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140401-Ballet003.jpg Beautiful Dancers

    The Ballet School in Valdosta offers children with special needs the chance to live out their dreams of being a dancer. For many, this may have seemed like a far fetched dream given their physical limitations, but as the Ballet School proves, there is no such thing as a physical limitation.

    April 13, 2014 5 Photos

  • Dido and Aeneas 1.jpg VSU Opera, Chamber Singers Present ‘Dido and Aeneas’ April 19-20

    The Valdosta State University Department of Music will present “Dido and Aeneas” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 19, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 20, in the West Hall Rotunda. Seating is limited to 100 people per performance.

    April 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Film Review Captain A_Rich copy.jpg A salute to ‘Captain America’

    Our reviewer looks at "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," 'The Grand Budapest hotel' and "Bad Words."

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
     View Results