For the past several years, I have been the local coordinator for the National Letter Carriers' Food Drive, now in its 22nd year, working with the local postmasters within our nine-town area to help them implement this annual, national food drive, the largest one-day food collection in the country.

More importantly, this is the largest and most important food drive of the year for our local food pantry, Loaves & Fishes. The hope is that the food collected May 10 will supplement the day-to-day donations to the pantry, at least into the summer months when we struggle to provide food for those who turn to Loaves & Fishes at a time when donations decrease considerably.

Once again, I appeal to each of you to reach out and help our neighbors who are suffering during these very difficult economic times and, sadly, must turn to Loaves & Fishes to feed their families. It takes only one visit to our food pantry virtually any time during the year to witness how very difficult it is to satisfy the many families who must rely on Loaves & Fishes.

The current economic climate is affecting so many of our neighbors. More and more of them are turning to Loaves & Fishes for support. Most Groton residents aren't aware that there are, in fact, many Groton families who depend on L&F, and with the continued state of the economy, and the high prices of fuel oil and gasoline, more and more families are finding themselves having no other alternative than to turn to Loaves & Fishes to provide for their needs.


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Each year, I make a special plea to my town of Groton, where the potential to provide food to those less fortunate during this annual Letter Carriers' Food Drive is HUGE! Being the largest and most affluent community that Loaves & Fishes serves, Groton, we can do better! The year-round need is tremendous at Loaves & Fishes and the number of families who must rely on our local pantry continues to rise.

In order to encourage more residents to donate and to make the donation easier, plastic shopping bags are being provided once again this year by Price Chopper and will be mailed to families and businesses throughout our area. Providing these bags to Groton residents last year made a big difference. Please look for these in your mailbox during the week prior to the food drive and fill them up on the morning of the 10th.

I once again challenge all residents to respond generously this year, a year when Loaves & Fishes will be turned to more than ever to satisfy our neighbors in need, and encourage everyone to enthusiastically participate in the NALC Food Drive on Saturday, May 10.

When your letter carrier arrives with your mail, he/she will pick up your bag(s) of food and at the end of their route, will bring them to the post office. If you have a P.O. Box, you can simply bring your bag(s) of food directly to the post office on the morning of May 10. There will be volunteers delivering the food directly to Loaves & Fishes throughout the day. You'll be amazed at how great it feels to donate and be part of this national effort to provide much-needed food to local pantries!

Thank you in advance.

Nancy Ohringer

Volunteer local coordinator

NALC Food Drive