This Saturday, May 10, anyone with a Grand Haven, West Olive or Spring Lake mailing address will have the opportunity to donate their non-perishable food items and help out families in need. While they deliver mail that day, postal workers will be picking up any non-perishable items in, on or near mailboxes.
The National Food Drive is sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers, and all collected items will be donated to the local Salvation Army and Love INC, as well as the Harvest Bible Chapel in West Olive.
Ken Baumgarner, a postal service employee at the Grand Haven office and organizer of the food drive, said that 94,000 pounds of food was collected in last year’s drive. With a tough act to follow, Baumgarner still has goals to get as much items as he can to local food banks.
Some ideal non-perishables to donate are canned vegetables, cans of tuna, peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, and other basic items in your cupboard, said Capt. Sally Davis of The Salvation Army in Grand Haven.
This is Davis’ fourth year in Grand Haven with The Salvation Army, and she said they receive a wide variety of food through the postal service drive — which helps not only her food pantry, but others as well.
“This postal drive is very vital,” she said. “It’s a real blessing to receive this food from our community.”
Leah Rust, director of ministries for Love INC, said eight of the nine churches the organization works with replenishes their own food pantries from the Love INC pantry on a weekly basis. With a demand that high, she said all donations are appreciated.
Rust also said that making sure there’s healthy food that’s also not perishable is a challenge.
“People are having to learn to live on less,” she said. “Hunger awareness, I think, is a huge thing.”