Letter carriers help residents help others in Western Massachusetts

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Letter carriers helped residents help those who are hungry in Western Massachusetts. 22News followed around a postal worker in West Springfield to find out how big this annual food drive is.

Through rain, snow and sleet, letter carrier Kyle Gibbons makes sure residents on Lower Beverly Hills in West Springfield get their mail. On Saturday, he was glad the sun was shining on him as he not only delivered mail, but picked up items from neighbors for those in need.

“It’s a little extra work and we’ll be a little extra sore at the end of the day but it’s always good to give back to the less fortunate in your community, so it’s a good day overall,” Kyle Gibbons, a USPS letter carrier, told 22News.

Gibbons isn’t alone. For the past 22 years, letter carriers in 10,000 cities and towns across the country collect food for those in need as part of the “National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive.”

Each year this collection is done in May in anticipation of summer months when food demand is at its highest and food donations are otherwise low. This is the largest one-day food drive in the country. Residents are notified with postcards in the mail a few days in advance.

“We like to help people in need so we give our groceries every year. We picked, my daughter actually picked them up this year but it’s to help other people for sure, yup,” said Gary Drapeau of West Springfield.

“I gave them pasta. I gave them sauce, and then I filled the bags with cans of veggies…And I went to the store and bought some more stuff,” Stephen Zambelli of West Springfield told 22News.

In Western Massachusetts, post offices in all major cities and towns participated, and so did many of the residents.

Gibbons said he didn’t collect many donations at the start of the day, but just before noon, his arms were full of boxes of pasta, cans of soup and anything people were willing to give to help one more person have a hearty meal when they need it the most.

What happens next? Click here to see how the food is distributed.

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