Mail carriers to collect food

Published 12:08 am Tuesday, May 10, 2011

NATCHEZ — Include a can or two of that split pea soup you never opened with your outgoing mail Saturday.

Mail carriers across the country will be picking up non-perishable food items to distribute to local charities as part of an annual food drive.

Frank Patti, retired letter carrier and local organizer of the Stamp Out Hunger food drive, said non-perishable food can be left in the mailbox or by the side of it. Carriers will bring the food back to the post office, where it will be distributed to four Natchez charities — the Sunshine Shelter, the Guardian Shelter, the Natchez Community Stewpot and the Church of Christ on U.S. 61 South.

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Patti said 7,800 pounds of food was collected in Natchez last year for Stamp Out Hunger.

“We hope we can do better than that this year,” Patti said. “It’s a bad time with this flood and the tornadoes. Whatever we get, we are happy to pass it on to people who need it.”

Patti said the local post office, branch 476, has been involved in the project for about 10 years.

“We try to help everyone in the community,” Patti said.