This Saturday, May 11th, is the 21st annual USPS Letter Carriers' food drive. This is the largest single day food drive in the country. Last year, USPS carriers collected over 70 million pounds of food, that was then distributed to food banks around the country.
With the day rapidly approaching, I'd like to offer a few tips to those who are inclined to donate to this worthy cause:
1. First off, please don't leave your donations out prior to Saturday if you can at all help it. Most stations do not have the storage space to keep all these donations for an extended period of time, we're pretty cramped in our offices. It's the reason we do this on a single day -- the logistics of this massive collection of goods works better if we can quickly turn the stuff around and get it out.
2. Dude, please . . . not that bulging, rusted, 15 year old can of creamed corn! Seriously folks, the stuff we are collecting is supposed to feed the hungry, not empty out your pantry. Have a heart! No expired goods, please. And non perishible too! No yogurt, quarts of milk, eggs, cheese slices, ice cream, etc. -- they should be items that can be stored on shelves at the food banks unrefrigerated.
3. Avoid glass containers if at all possible. I know it's tempting to toss a couple of jars of spaghetti sauce in there, but we're piling up bags of stuff in the backs of our trucks. And when we off-load, we're filling huge containers with all the collected goods. Those glass jars break more easily than you'd imagine, then you've got a mess plus a safety hazard with all the broken glass. Try to keep it to boxes, cans, and plastic jars whenever possible.
4. I know you're loving those cultured quail's eggs in artisan mustard sauce and want to share it with those less fortunate, but for the same amount of money, you probably could have purchased a case of beef-o-ghetti -- which would be much better for the cause in the long run. Remember -- this stuff is for food banks to distribute to the homeless and unfortunates that are struggling to find something to eat every day. Ravioli, Hungry Man soups, mac & cheese, canned veggies . . . simple, quickly prepared edible stuff is the way to go. And with most groceries running BOGO's these days, you can grab a couple of cans when you do your shopping and it won't set you back much.
Thanks in advance to everyone who pitches in this Saturday. I'll update this post with the collection totals as soon as they come in.