Valdosta Daily Times

May 14, 2013

Valdosta donates 130,000 pounds in postal food drive

Dean Poling
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Valdosta and Lowndes County residents donated an estimated 130,000 pounds of food Saturday during the annual Stamp Out Hunger postal food drive.

"That number will likely continue to increase as things come in slowly over the next few days as people who were out of town put stuff out for their letter carriers/post offices that weren't open this weekend," said Eliza McCall, a Second Harvest of South Georgia spokesperson. "Albany's totals were also way up, and we will not get Thomasville totals until probably Tuesday."

For the past decade, Valdosta-Lowndes County has donated record numbers to the food drive locally sponsored by America's Second Harvest and the National Association of Letter Carriers area branch 998.

Through a campaign of mailed reminders and sending specially marked plastic bags through the mail, Valdosta doubled its intake from 20 tons to 40 tons in the first year of people receiving the bags. Since, Valdosta-Lowndes has not only topped the state in per capita donations but has collected more canned and non-perishable foods than any Georgia city with the exception of Atlanta.

A few years ago, America's Second Harvest increased its jurisdiction to 30 South Georgia counties. Last year, the postal food drive collected 200,000 pounds throughout the region. As for Valdosta-Lowndes County, area residents donated 100,000 pounds last year. This year's numbers represent a 30,000-pound increase for Valdosta, McCall said.