CATEGORY: Monroe County
Amory letter carriers collecting food for needy
By Eileen Bailey
AMORY – Letter carriers in Amory and parts of Monroe County will be collecting food today as part of a national program to assist the needy.
Perry Newton, an Amory letter carrier and local coordinator for the program, said the charity food drive is sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers and is held in various locations across the nation. When the program began nationwide four years ago, 400 branches of the association took part. This year, he said, there will be 1,200 branches involved.
There will be six Amory carriers and four rural carriers involved in the drive. Newton said those carriers delivered bags earlier in the week and are asking residents to leave nonperishable, nonbreakable goods in the bags either on, in or near their mailboxes. These foodstuffs can be either canned or boxed, Newton said.
This is the second year Amory has been involved in the program. Last year, the carriers gathered 3,090 pounds of food for residents in the area. This year, Newton said he hopes that amount will increase to 4,000 pounds.
Nationwide last year, 45 million pounds of food was collected for the needy.
Once the food is collected Saturday, it will be taken to the Amory Food Pantry for distribution. According to Newton, the Food Pantry has been in need of nonperishable foods to help meet increased demand. So far this year, the pantry has served 650 families, almost double what it served last year.
Newton believes the increase in demand was caused by the number of jobs lost earlier in the year when several plants closed. “They (the food pantry) got low in February and had a call for food,” Newton said.
For Newton, collecting the food is a way to let the residents in the community know how much mail carriers care for them. “I feel that we are indebted to them (the residents),” he said.