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A "Special Delivery" for OR Hunger Relief

May 5, 2010

PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon is almost at the top of a list that states don't want to be on. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, we're second in the nation for the number of families who aren't sure they'll have enough food, day to day.

More than 3,000 Oregon letter carriers will try to fix that with their annual one-day food collection this Saturday, May 8. As they deliver the mail, they will also pick up nonperishable food items left on front porches. They're hoping to do a lot of heavy lifting, according to Portland carrier Jim Falvey.

"We don't always have an opportunity to give back to the community - many times, our own lives and our schedules prevent us from doing that. So, to take one Saturday out of the year and give it our all, is something that practically every letter carrier will get behind."

The Oregon Food Bank reports requests for emergency food continue to grow. That doesn't surprise Falvey, whose wife is also a letter carrier.

"Many of the letter carriers do see things out there that maybe fly under the radar - to neighbors, and maybe even sometimes to family members. We do see, on a daily basis, people who go hungry, particularly children; and I think it touches many of the letter carriers."

He says hundreds of volunteers, including the carriers' family members, pitch in to help collect the food, and it all stays in the same community where it is donated. This is the 23rd year for the "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive. This Saturday's goal is a record two million pounds of food, in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR