By Beth David, Editor
The annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive, sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers, topped out at 8,690 pounds donated in Fairhaven this year on Saturday, 5/13. US Postal Service customers put non-perishable items out by their mailboxes where letter carriers and volunteers picked up the food to be distributed to local pantries.
Fairhaven’s donations went to the Shepherd’s Food Pantry in Acushnet.
This year’s total was a welcome change from last year’s total of 4,760, which was significantly less than 2015’s total of 5,260 and 2014’s total of 6084. The lowest of the last 10 years was 2013, with 4,660. The last year to break the 8,000 pound mark was 2007 with 8,020 pounds.
Not that food drive coordinator Gerry Payette every complained. He always just expressed thanks for the good received.
This year, however, he could not help having a little extra bounce in his voice as he said: “That’s a very good total.”
Mr. Payette pointed to all the volunteers who helped load and unload the truck at the post office annex in Fairhaven and at the pantry.
“See how many people it takes to make this happen?” he said. “Every week. It’s all about the volunteers.”
Among the pounds of food donated by indviduals at home, were 63 boxes from Stop & Shop in Fairhaven, put together from donations by customers.
“We did God’s work today,” said Mr. Payette to the volunteers. “And everybody who donated did God’s work.”
Residents may continue to donate by dropping food into the bin at the Millicent Library, 45 Center Street, Fairhaven (Walnut Street entrance); or the bin at Stop & Shop in Fairhaven. Tax deductible donations may be sent to the Shepherd’s Pantry, PO Box 760, Fairhaven, MA 02719. The pantry is located at the Long Plain Church, 1215 Main Street, Acushnet, 508-763-9289. The shelter distributes food on Saturday mornings. Visit www.shepherdspantry.org.