Sedalia letter carriers are taking part in the National Association of Letter Carriers’ food drive Saturday, which organizers have said is the nation’s largest one-day food drive.
This year marks the 21st annual food drive nationally, and the 20th year Sedalia has participated. Last year nearly 18,500 pounds of food was collected in Sedalia, and local food drive coordinator and letter carrier Julie Taylor said this year’s goal is to collect 20,000 pounds of food.
“Not a lot of people participate but people that do leave a lot of food,” Taylor said. “And of course we are happy if someone just wants to leave one can of food — it all adds up. But some people go way beyond being generous and they’ll leave big boxes of food.”
The food collected will be distributed equally between Open Door and the Salvation Army, and Open Door Executive Director Jack Menges also mentioned the large impact of every Sedalia resident donating just one can of food, which would far exceed this year’s goal of 20,000 pounds.
Participating in the food drive is simple: “It’s the easiest food drive ever,” Taylor said. “Just set your non-perishable items by your mailbox and the letter carrier or a volunteer will do the rest.”
Residents should place items by their mailbox for pick-up on Saturday, but Taylor said volunteers may also pick up items Friday and Monday for those residents who may be out of town this weekend. Menges noted that all types of non-perishable foods are accepted, but cautioned against donating items in glass jars and that home-canned items will not be accepted due to health regulations.
“There’s not one item we’re really looking for,” Menges said. “I tell people to donate all sorts of things, Jell-o, pasta, canned goods. We get a lot of our variety from these food drives, because we’ll get a pallet of this or that from the food bank, but with this drive you could get a box of 12 different items. A big thing is cans of soup. If it really comes down to it, a can of chicken noodle soup can be an entire meal.”
Monetary donations are also accepted, and can either be left in an envelope in the resident’s mailbox or can be mailed to the National Association of Letter Carriers, P.O. Box 2001 Sedalia, Mo., 65302.