The largest one-day food drive in the country, Stamp Out Hunger, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. The drive is sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers.
The post office passed out bags to customers the week before, and customers left the bags, filled with nonperishable food items, for carriers to pick up.
Debra Hatfield, who coordinated the Jasper effort this year, said the reponse was overwhelming.
“Some carriers had to come back and empty their vehicles to be able to finish their routes,” Hatfield said. “The citizens really came out in a big way.”
Locally, the food is usually donated to the Salvation Army, but this year the donation was split between the Salvation Army and Missions Unlimited, according to Hatfield.
More than one billion pounds of food has been collected nationwide in 10,000 cities over the last 19 years. Last year, the program collected about 70 million pounds of food nationwide.
“We want to thank the Daily Mountain Eagle, WIXI radio and the Jasper television station for helping us get the word out,” Hatfield said. “And we want to thank our rural carriers, clerks and everyone else who worked as a team to make this a success.”