Post offices in Md. extend food drive

March 26, 1995|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,Sun Staff Writer

Post offices in Maryland are extending their annual food drive, hoping to bolster one of the lowest yields since the Postal Service began its effort to help the needy.

As of late Friday, donations for the statewide Harvest for the Hungry campaign -- which collects nonperishable food for county and state food banks -- reached about 200,000 pounds since the drive began March 17.

That was about two-thirds of the total the same campaign collected a year ago.

The campaign was supposed to end yesterday, according to a state wide schedule. But now it will continue statewide until Friday.

"We're really looking to get some customers to make those last-minute donations," said John Budzynski, manager of the Baltimore post office's customer service and coordinator of the statewide campaign. "People just are not thinking about the needy."

Local and state food banks depend on donations to the postal service campaign to help stock the shelves for regular food distribution to the needy.

"All I'm trying to do is help needy people," said Falston resident Larry Adam Jr., who started the Harvest for the Hungry campaign nine years ago. "Hopefully, people's generosity will improve."

The Postal Service joined the campaign six years ago.

Last year, its statewide efforts collected 300,000 pounds of donated food.

Officials estimate that three-quarters of a pound of food provides one meal for one person. And they say that the food collected in the annual postal drive doesn't last that long.

"You do a food drive just to make it through another month," said William Ewing, executive director of the Maryland Food Bank. "You're always racing to catch up."

HOW TO HELP

You can leave canned or other nonperishable food at your mailbox tomorrow for your letter carrier to pick up. Or, through Friday, you can drop off food donations at your local post office.

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