PILOT MOUNTAIN — If anyone noticed the load of local letter carriers being a little heavier than usual Saturday, there’s certainly a good explanation.
Post offices from Pilot Mountain, Westfield and Pinnacle had coordinated a food drive inviting residents from their communities and Ararat to donate. And residents responded with an estimated 15,000 pounds of donated non-perishable food items that will help neighbors with need in their communities during the coming months.
“It was a good effort and we want to thank everyone who took part,” said Pilot Mountain Postmaster Tammy Reece. “The weather may have hurt us a little, but we still had a good food turn-out. And several people brought their food to the post office. We appreciate that extra effort.”
“This year’s response was similar to recent years,” noted Jimmy Caparolie, co-director of the Pilot Mountain Outreach Center food bank. “And donations from Westfield were really up. It’s heartwarming to see our communities do this to help those who need it.”
According to Caparolie, the timing and scale of the drive makes it of major importance to the center and those it serves.
“This is our last of three major food drives that are held each year,” he explained. “Other churches and organizations will be holding smaller drives but we really rely on these. Without them it would be really hard to make it through the summer when children are out of schools and our numbers go up.”
The two other annual efforts referred to by Caparolie are the Friends Feeding Friends food drive and the “Scouting for Food” Boy Scout and Cub Scout food drive.
Saturday’s drive was part of the National Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Through the annual effort, almost 1.2 billion pounds of food have been collected since the first drive in 1993.
Pilot Mountain Postal Clerk Angela Lachappelle also voiced appreciation to volunteers from the South Westfield Ruritan Club for their efforts throughout the day.
“Karen (Caparolie) and I are thankful for all the people who may never come here but want to give because they know there are others hurting around them,” Caparolie noted. “We feel blessed to be a part of such a caring community.”