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United Way of Forsyth, postal service teaming up for food drive

FORSYTH COUNTY — Mailboxes throughout Forsyth County will represent more than a delivery point for letters and packages next weekend, and anyone wishing to help at-need neighbors in the community can sign, seal and deliver support.

The National Association of Letter Carriers will hold its 23rd annual “Stamp out Hunger!” food drive on Saturday. This is the nation’s largest single-day food drive, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

The event marks the seventh year United Way of Forsyth County is working with the local post office to participate in the drive that will take place in more than 10,000 cities across the country.

Anyone wishing to donate is asked to leave bags of non-perishable food by their mailbox before the mail is delivered, and their letter carriers will pick them up.

Donations will be taken back to the post office for United Way members to distribute to local food pantries.

“Last year, we collected over 30,000 pounds,” said Melissa Corliss, director of community impact for United Way of Forsyth County. “It’s a pretty simple way for people to get involved in their community.”

Corliss said the event falls at a good time because there is “usually a bigger need in the summer when children are out of school and do not get those breakfast and lunch opportunities” from the free/reduced lunch program.

Letter carriers across the U.S. collected more than 74.4 million pounds of non-perishable food last year. That was the second-highest amount since the drive began in 1992 and brought the total to nearly 1.3 billion pounds, with more than 186,000 pounds collected in metro Atlanta.

In the days leading up to the drive, letter carriers will be delivering special bags, which can be used to make donations.

While all non-perishable donations are welcome, the post office said, items that are high in protein — canned tuna, salmon, beans and peanut butter — are most needed.

Whole grain, low-sugar cereals, canned fruits and vegetables, macaroni and cheese dinners and 100 percent fruit juice also top the list of most needed items.