Letter: Letter Carriers Drive collects 17,000 pounds

May. 16, 2014 @ 06:15 PM

Editor,

Despite a rainy Saturday morning, Sevier Countians did an admirable job of supporting Sevier County Food Ministries for the 20th consecutive year through last Saturday’s Letter Carriers Food Drive.

This year the “Stamp Out Hunger” drive anchored by your local mail carriers collected over 17,000 pounds of canned and dry goods plus monetary donations, helping to fill the warehouse at SCFM as it has on the second Saturday of May since 1995.

Though we collected about 3,000 pounds less than last year because of the rain, our warehouse looks a bit healthier, but it won’t last long as the food bank supports an average of 1,600 families per week.

SCFM is grateful for the groceries donated by people in Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Kodak which will soon be distributed to needy families.

Thanks most of all to the letter carriers and postal employees who participated and did the hard work. You are the backbone of this drive.

We appreciate Barney, Bobbi, Herb, Mona, Billy and Braden, good people who arrive at the Sevierville Post Office with a smile and multiple pairs of helping hands on the second Saturday each May.

Thanks as well to the dozens of volunteers, including Boy Scouts from Troop 110 and the New Center Elementary Beta Club, parent supporters and many other fine folks who did an especially outstanding job of sorting the food as it arrived at the Food Ministry, where super volunteers Mannie, Sven, Ralph, Dave, Eugene, Bob, Len, Dorothy, Amanda, Patty, Phyllis, Beth, and Greg contribute in many ways.

The Mountain Press is gracious in its support, promoting the food drive through advertising and editorial.

The folks at MIXX 105.5 also helped generate interest with quality air time and their mentions and thoughtful support. Getting the word out is critical.

Local restaurants and businesses provided donations for the carriers and volunteers, including Three Jimmy’s, Big Bear Pizza and Bear Land General Store in Gatlinburg, Bohangle’s, Krispy Kreme and Hardee’s in Pigeon Forge, Bullfish, Old Mill Café, Texas Roadhouse, Buddy’s BBQ, Bellacino’s, Logan’s Roadhouse, Firehouse Subs, Fuddrucker’s, Zaxby’s in Sevierville, Buddy’s BBQ and TGI Fridays in Sevierville, Papa John’s in Pigeon Forge and Little Caesar’s Pizza. Thanks as well to McNelly-Whaley Ford for loaning a pick-up truck for the day.

Did you forget to leave your bag out? That’s okay. You can donate anytime by sending a check which allows SCFM to buy goods at the bargain rate of about 25 cents per pounds from Second Harvest Food Bank. Your 10 bucks becomes more than 40 cans of green beans. A $20 contribution can buy 100 pounds of rice. The SCFM address is P.O. Box 6042, Sevierville, 37864. All donations are tax deductible. If you’ve got it, share it.

And thanks to all those who supported this drive last Saturday.

Gina Davis

Sevierville