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Postal carriers need help to 'Stamp Out Hunger'

Mary E. Hinds maryhinds@lebanondemocrat.com • Updated Jul 26, 2013 at 10:06 PM

Lebanon residents can take the first step to help feed their neighbors in need. The U.S. Postal Service is once again working to Stamp Out Hunger by making donating food fast and easy.

Rick Wittrig of fire pit fame is also working with the Wilson County Community Help Center to promote the Stamp Out Hunger campaign.

Stamp Out Hunger makes it easy for everyone to donate food to local families in need without leaving home. Local help for local people is one of the things he likes most about the drive.

"Carriers will put food bags on mailboxes May 10 and pick up the donated food May 11," Wittrig said.

Wittrig said the WCCHC feeds a lot of desperate families in Wilson County with a lot of needs, the most pressing of which is hunger. He said last year's drive was a great success.

"We distribute that food – harvested from residents, and distribute it to other less advantaged residents of our county during the course of the year. Rural and city letter carriers leave empty bags along their routes and residents fill them. The carriers return the next day and collect the food, delivering it to the center where volunteers, and prisoners from the county jail, sort, stack and weigh the food. I believe we collected 18 tons of food last year," he added.

"They do so many great things and one of them is the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive," he noted. "It's a huge deal throughout the country."

Wittrig said donating is easy since residents only have to walk from their own pantries to their mailboxes to help make a difference.

"This food allows us to do the job and feed people in our area," he said. "There are people in desperate need here. All of the food goes into the WCCHC food bank, then we can use the money from the thrift store to buy produce and perishables to round out the canned goods."

Wittrig said some of the food will also be used in the Family Resource Center's Weekend Backpack Program to make sure children in the city schools who rely on free school lunches have something to eat on weekends.

He also said a lot of people are going hungry here in a land of plenty.

"It's astonishing that in America that people are going hungry – that it could happen here," Wittrig said, adding Americans throw away a lot of food. "We are a wasteful people."

Wittrig said the worse part is so many children here, and around the nation, simply don't have enough to eat, and everyone knows that no child can succeed in school with an empty stomach.

"There are a lot of children going hungry because of their parents' bad decisions," he said.

He hopes everyone who finds a food bag on their mailbox will take the time to help their neighbors in need, because all food collected will be given to local families via the WCCHC food bank.

"Whether they put one thing in the bag or fill it up, they can make a big difference," Wittrig said.

For more information about the program, call the WCCHC at 615-449-1856.

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