OCILLA - During these difficult economic times, more and more Americans find themselves facing hunger on a regular basis, lacking sufficient resources to put enough food on the table for themselves and their families. This Saturday, June 9, Ocilla residents have an opportunity to combat this problem at the local level by simply leaving non-perishable food items beside their mailbox.
“One in six people across America is struggling with food insecurity as this weak economy grinds on,” said Greg Millette, Executive Director of United Way of South Central Georgia (UWSCGA). “Given high local unemployment and poverty data, there is little doubt that food insecurity in our region runs even above the national average.”
Sponsored by the Ocilla Post Office and United Way, this food drive will support two food pantries in Irwin County, one at the local Coastal Plain EOA office and one at Irwin County DFCS. All collected food will be delivered directly to these two agencies without any fees charged to them for receiving it.
“There are some agencies that sponsor food drives and then take the food to a regional warehouse where they charge local food pantries a fee to get the food back,” said local UWSCGA board member Jannis Paulk. “We want to make it clear that UWSCGA operates under a different philosophy, working to keep such donations within their community of origin. Your donations will be shared locally with no fee attached.”
To participate in the food drive, any person living on an Ocilla Post Office delivery route can simply place any non-perishable foods in a bag and then leave the bag(s) by the mailbox on the morning of Saturday, June 9, prior to the arrival of their mail. Letter carriers will pick up the food as they travel their routes, bringing it back to the post office loading docks at the end of the day. From there it will be transported to the storage facilities for Coastal Plain EOA and Irwin County DFCS and ultimately distributed to local residents.
Postal customers with a P.O. Box and customers served by other Irwin County post offices can drop the food off in marked boxes in the Ocilla Post Office lobby beginning on Thursday, June 7.
“We have helped coordinate a postal food drive in Tifton for several years with great success,” said Mr. Millette, “and I’m excited to see the event spreading as we develop new friendships and partnerships in Irwin County.”
“Let’s line our roadways with bags of food,” said Ms. Paulk, “so that our local families in need can fill their tables with food for themselves and for their children.”