Area post offices get ready to stamp out hunger with food drive

Donations to be collected Saturday

By:Mark Moffa
   BORDENTOWN CITY — Area residents are being asked to leave more than just outgoing mail for their letter carriers Saturday when postal workers will be collecting food donations for the 10th annual Strike Out Hunger! nationwide food drive.
   In what has become the largest single volunteer event in America each year, the National Association of Letter Carriers is teaming up with the United Way, the AFL-CIO, and the Campbell Soup Company in an attempt to break last year’s record of more than 70 million pounds of food.
   The nation’s 240,000 letter carriers will collect food donations in more than 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions Saturday.
   Earl Loretangeli, a retired Bordentown City letter carrier and local food drive coordinator, said more than 10,000 pounds of food was collected in the Bordentown area alone last year.
   "We hope to hit 11,000," he said of his goal for this year.
   Needy area families benefit from donations picked up by letter carriers.
   Donations from the Bordentown area are sent to St. Mary’s Food Pantry in Bordentown City where volunteers, parish members and retired postal employees assist as the donations come in.
   Donations that cannot be carried by the letter carrier will be picked up by truck later in the day, so residents don’t have to worry about leaving more than their local letter carrier can handle, Mr. Loretangeli said.
   Residents are encouraged to give non-perishable food items such as canned soup, juices, vegetables, and fruits, as well as boxed goods such as pasta and rice.
   Donations can be left by mailboxes in a sturdy bag this Saturday or brought to participating post offices.
   The Bordentown Post Office serves approximately 7,000 homes in Bordentown City and Township, Fieldsboro, Birch Hollow in Florence and along rural delivery routes.
   Other participating post offices include those in Florence, Roebling and Columbus.
   The Columbus Post Office serves more than 2,300 homes in Mansfield, Springfield and Chesterfield townships.
   Mr. Loretangeli, a lifelong Bordentown resident, retired from the postal service in 1991, after 40 years of service. He will be one of more than a dozen volunteers processing donations at St. Mary’s on Saturday.
   In its history, the Stamp Out Hunger! drive has collected more than 460 million pounds of food. It is the largest one-day food drive in the nation.
   This year, the Campbell Soup Company is leading the food drive with a donation of 1 million pounds of food. Campbell and the United States Postal Service sponsored the production of postcards advertising the event that have been sent to nearly 100 million homes.
   According to the Department of Agriculture, 31 million Americans do not always know how they will receive their next meal.