Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

May 7, 2013

Food drive offers helping hand

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — Pauls Valley's postal workers are again asking local residents to pitch in and offer a helping hand to those needing food during difficult times.

It's called “Stamp Out Hunger” as a food drive led by letter carriers and plenty of others rolls around on Saturday, May 11.

PV is far from alone here in Garvin County or around the state as residents can help simply by leaving food donations next to their mailbox on Saturday.

Letter carriers and others volunteering in PV, Wynnewood, Stratford and Lindsay, along with 129 cities in central and western Oklahoma, will collect the donations.

All the food gathered up on that one day will then go to help local food pantries.

In Pauls Valley's case all food donations will go to help the Delta Community Action pantry restock its shelves. That food then goes to help area residents in need.

Tina Casey of Delta says the food pantry she oversees really depends on this annual drive and the generosity of residents.

“This is by far the biggest food drive of the year for us,” Casey said. “Canned food is very expensive, so these donations really help us out.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to help and it helps other people in the community. This provides more food to people in the area.”

The effort here in PV is a big one that in the past has even earned awards with the level of help extended by local residents.

A look at the numbers shows just how big that help has been.

Back in 2006 the PV letter carriers' drive collected 1,750 pounds of food. The following year that number rose to 3,825.

Then came 2008 when Pauls Valley residents donated more than 10,000 pounds of food.

The overall number has since then been up and down but still at a high level, including 9,000 pounds in 2011 and another 6,000 last year.

Those looking to help can leave non-perishable food items by their mailbox for their postal workers to pick up on their regular routes this Saturday.

Most items needed include canned meats, meat-based soups, canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, rice and beans.

Monetary donations can also be made online at regionalfoodbank.org or by calling 405-604-7109.