Special delivery: Letter carriers’ food drive is Saturday

Published 5:41 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive to benefit the Bogalusa Help Center will take place on Saturday, and the post office asks that people put one or more non-perishable food items in a bag near their mailbox for the special delivery to the local food bank.

“This great food drive by our postal friends is a great blessing,” said Bogalusa Help Center director Gene Hayman. “As we serve families we remember our slogan-It’s easy to smile when someone cares. Thanks for caring!

“The postal carriers really care because they work harder that day — not only delivering the mail, but picking the food bags left at the mailboxes to bring to the Bogalusa Help Center, where volunteers will be ready to sort and box for monthly distribution.

“We are also joined by some youth groups who have lots of energy to unload and help. We have fun while we work.”

Hayman said the Bogalusa Help Center currently feeds more than 400 families a month. He said they used to feed 500 families, but as the population of the city decreased, the numbers of those in need decreased as well.

“It’s less numbers now, but we’ve upgraded the quality of what we give them,” Hayman said. “We’re giving them canned hams, and we’re going to give them fresh carrots. And families with three or more receive twice as much.”

He said the average income level of the families is $12,000 a year, and some make considerably less.

“We don’t turn anybody away,” Hayman said.

He said the Bogalusa Help Center was started “nearly 30 years ago by the churches” to help serve about 40 families in need at the time. Most of the clients are from Bogalusa, Varnado and Angie, but they have some from all parts of Washington Parish.

“We serve folks who rely on us solely,” Hayman said.

He praised the center’s volunteer board of directors, and invites anyone who would like to visit to stop by on a Wednesday morning.

“Come and join us, and see first-hand what your help means.” Hayman said. “And see their smiles.”