The Tonganoxie Post Office officially will be collecting canned foods during their mail routes this Saturday as part of the national drive.
Although people have dropped off cans at the post office in recent years as part of a joint nationwide effort by the Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers, the annual drive hasn't been promoted the last few years at the Tonganoxie Post Office.
That will change on Saturday.
Postmaster Ron Hubbard said Tonganoxie would be on board with the national event, thanks to discussions with Tonganoxie resident Don Rodell, who works for a Postal Service branch in Kansas City, Kan.
"Don wanted to promote it more in Tonganoxie, and I think that was a good idea," Hubbard said.
Nonperishable food items can be dropped off this week in a container in the Tonganoxie Post Office lobby in downtown Tonganoxie.
Or, residents can hang a bag of nonperishable food items on their mailbox or near it and carriers will pick it up on Saturday.
Hubbard said carriers would put a postcard in each customer's box reminding them that Saturday is the big food drive day if they wish to donate food. Hubbard said that people usually put the food items in a plastic bag and slip them over a nail near the mailbox, or on the mailbox's latch. Residents also can put the food items in their mailboxes.
The food will go to the Good Shepherd Thrift Store and Food Pantry in Tonganoxie.
"I'm really happy to see them doing it," Hubbard said. "Especially since all the food that is collected will stay here locally to help out families here."
Rodell seconded Hubbard's words.
"I just think that's neat," Rodell said, noting that he's most excited about their efforts will benefit Tonga-noxie. "You put forth the effort and the energy to pull this off and achieve a goal you set forth as an organization, and you know everything you collect goes back to the community you work and serve who need it. How cool is that?"
Rodell said that last year the drive produced some 70 million pounds of food nationwide.
Like Tonganoxie, Basehor's post office will be in on the national food drive. Donations collected there also will benefit Basehor's local pantry.
The first official year of the food drive, with which the American Postal Workers Union also has assisted, was in 1993.