As she took a break from sorting canned goods Saturday afternoon, Leah Roach said she was thankful she had a few minutes to sit and rest before the next truckload of cans came in.
Roach, 67, was one of several volunteers who spent Saturday sorting donated canned goods at the post office on Britton Road just west of Broadway Extension. The post office served as a volunteer site for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive.
During the drive, residents leave canned goods by their mailboxes for mail carriers to collect. The donations go to the food pantries and other programs the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma supports.
The work generally comes in waves, Roach said. When a mail truck comes to the post office with canned goods, volunteers unload the truck, sort the cans and then sit and wait for another truck to arrive.
Roach said she’s been volunteering with her daughter and grandchildren nearly every year for the past nine years. She began volunteering when she moved to Oklahoma in 2005, and she’s only missed one year of the annual food drive since then, she said.
Laura Lang, the food bank’s vice president for development, said the mail carriers’ drive is the food bank’s most important single food drive of the year. The drive helps the food bank replenish its supplies before the end of the school year, she said.
The food bank’s supplies are often more strained in the summer, when children are home and school breakfasts and lunches aren’t available, Lang said.
The food drive is all the more important this year because the food bank’s supplies are down by almost 3.5 million pounds from last spring, Lang said.
The food bank hoped to raise a million pounds of food and $1 million during Saturday’s drive, she said.
Hundreds of Devon Energy employees will sort and pack the food donated during the mail carriers’ drive on May 21 at the food bank’s annual Stuff the Truck event, she said.