Saturday food drive makes it easy to help

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The Stamp Out Hunger drive typically collects about 30,000 lbs. of food for needy families, including many in Covington. (Photos courtesy of Be Concerned)

Covington agencies benefit from Postal Carrier event

COVINGTON, Ky. - Set canned goods and other non-perishable food items by your mailbox on Saturday, and you will help four agencies in Covington who make sure low-income families get enough to eat.
Postal carriers will pick up the food and deliver it to one of 11 nonprofits that provide food to people who desperately need it, including four who operate in Covington: Be Concerned, Fairhaven Mission, Action Ministries, and the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Northern Kentucky.
The effort by National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 374 is part of the national Stamp Out Hunger drive, the largest such event in the United States. Last year, Branch 374 carriers collected more than 30,000 lbs. of food.
The food is desperately needed, said Andy Brunsman, director of Be Concerned, which provided free food nearly 2,600 times out of its food pantry on Pike Street in the first four months of 2019 alone. Food supplies from holiday donations have been depleted and the drive gives agencies an opportunity to replenish their shelves.
“Summer time is a slow time for donations because schools are out,” Brunsman said. “This drive helps to fill the void caused by summer break.”

The drive makes for a long day for postal carriers, who in addition to their typical load of mail must also tote food donated by customers along their routes. But carriers are glad to do it, said Gary Smith, who is heading up the effort for Letter Carriers Drive 374.
“Our letter carriers see these struggles in the communities they serve, and they believe it’s important to do what they can to help,” Smith said.

Branch 374 has collaborated with the Safety Net Alliance of Northern Kentucky on the drive the past seven years. The Safety Net is a collaborative of more than 150 organizations - nonprofits, churches, schools, government entities - that works to eliminate duplication and maximize efficiencies in services to low-income residents.
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