By Jason A. Smith
Mail carriers in the Southern Crescent will pull double duty this weekend, by delivering mail while collecting food and other items to feed hungry families.
The Annual Carrier Food Drive, sponsored by the Southern Crescent Resource Ministry, will be held Saturday. Carriers will pick up any food left in or near residents' mailboxes, according to Mark Brumbalow, executive director of the ministry.
"All food collected will go to help families in Henry County, and our local area," he said.
The local event is part of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) 19th annual nationwide "Stamp Out Hunger!" Food Drive.
Brumbalow is a retired employee of the U.S. Postal Service. His group distributes food to more than 3,300 families weekly, to various areas in Georgia, including Henry County.
"Last year we collected about 60k pounds of food," he said. "We distributed 5.1 million pounds of products in McDonough. It was valued at $15.1 million. In Henry, we serve about 900 families weekly."
The resource ministry was founded in 1994, in Stockbridge. Brumbalow has worked with the organization since 1996, and has overseen the resource ministry for two years.
He said the ministry currently has household items as well as food which will be given to hungry families locally.
"This week we'll have bleach, potato chips, personal hygiene products, frozen bread dough, and fresh produce," he said.
Products from the ministry are distributed regularly to 228 non-profit organizations, according to Brumbalow. Those groups then distribute the items to needy families in their communities.
The director said the food drive will enable the community to learn more about the needy population in the area.
"I think people are aware there is a need, but don't know how they can help," said Brumbalow. "This is a good opportunity for people to make a donation to help needy families in their own community."
"Stamp Out Hunger!" is the nation's largest single-day food drive, bringing in more than one billion pounds of food since 1992, according to a press release issued by the Postal Service Wednesday.
"Last year, more than 73 million pounds of food were collected nationally, with more than 300,000 pounds collected in metro Atlanta," the release states.
For more information, call 1-888-709-2133. Monetary donations can be made online, by credit card, to the Southern Crescent Resource Ministry, at www.scrmfoodbank.com.