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‘Stamp Out the Hunger'
Postal Service holds food drive this week
The Place 4 es
Sandy Beaver looks through the canned food items on the shelves in the food pantry of The Place, one of several beneficiaries of an upcoming United Way-U.S. Postal Service food drive. - photo by Emily Saunders
When it comes to helping families in need, the U.S. Postal Service aims to deliver.

For the 17th year, the National Association of Letter Carriers will hold a Stamp Out the Hunger food drive Saturday.

This year, the United Way of Forsyth County and the Cumming Post Office have teamed up to participate in the annual event.

The post office is encouraging anyone who lives in the 30028, 30040 and 30041 zip codes to leave a bag of nonperishable food by their mailboxes.

The 99 mail carriers who deliver to those areas in Forsyth will collect the bags on their regular delivery routes. The food will then be distributed by the United Way of Forsyth County to local food banks.

“There is such a great need in our community for food, and with the way the economy has turned, that need has increased,” said Leigh Crow, director of community impact for Forsyth’s United Way. “We wanted to provide support to those in the community.”

Food will go to The Place of Forsyth County, Cumming First United Methodist Church and Unseen Hands Food Ministry, which is part of the Hightower Baptist Association.

Cumming Postmaster Anne Berger, who has been with the postal service for about two decades, has participated in the event since its inception in 1993. This is her first year at the Cumming branch, but she is excited to continue the tradition.

“We’re going to put some containers out in the lobby for customers to drop off food ahead of time,” she said. “It’s very nice to know that people can still be generous, especially when everybody is in a time of need.”

The containers are in the post office on Tribble Gap Road during regular business hours through Saturday.

Berger said she’s seen everything from vegetables and soups to canned salmon dropped off over the years.

Sandy Beaver, director of The Place, said any nonperishable foods are welcome as the need continues to increase.

While many families seeking food don’t qualify for food stamps, they still need the financial help, she said.

There were 478 visits to the food pantry between January and March, Beaver said. That’s about a 40 percent increase from the 342 visits during the same time frame last year.

“We have to be able to give people enough food to be able to put meals on the table,” she said. “School is going to be letting out soon, and the need always goes up in the summer.

“With the current economic situation, food needs are greater than ever before. And making sure we have it available is more important than ever before.”

E-mail Jennifer Sami at