Letter carriers in Ashland, Medford, Central Point and White City will join with letter carriers across America to deliver much more than mail when they walk and drive along their postal routes on Saturday.




They will also collect donations of non-perishable food from their postal customers during the annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive &

the largest one-day food drive in Oregon and in the nation.




"This is the biggest food-drive of the year in Jackson County. Last year, postal customers contributed over 76,100 of non-perishable food on this day. This year will be the 15th anniversary, and it is huge, says Philip Yates, Nutrition Programs Manager of ACCESS Food Share




In the first three months of this year, ACCESS have already provided more than 10,000 emergency food boxes. Each week the group's warehouse distributes more than 50,000 pounds of food, providing more than 2.3 million meals in Jackson County alone," said Yates. "The NALC Food Drives provides some of the most nutritious food we receive. This high-quality food is particularly important for the growing bodies and brains of one in five children in our area who rely on emergency food boxes for meals during the year."




Most needed foods include canned tuna, peanut butter, soups, stews, chili, canned fruits and vegetables, boxed rice and pasta meals, beans, rice and pasta.




The process is simple:




During the second week of May letter carriers in Medford, Central Point and White City and Ashland delivered to postal customers along their routes: cards, announcing the food drive and specially marked plastic bags, donated by Fred Meyer, in a second delivery.




People are requested to the bags with nutritious, nonperishable food such as tuna fish, peanut butter, soups, stews, canned vegetables/fruit and boxed meals. They can then place the filled bags by their mailbox on Saturday morning.




The NALC food drive always takes place the second Saturday in May &

the Saturday before Mother's Day.




On Saturday, letter carriers will collect non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes along their routes and take them to their local station. Trucks will pick up the food and deliver it to ACCESS Warehouse.




ACCESS is a non-profit Community Action agency serving the needs of seniors, persons with disabilities, children and people of low income since 1976. The group strives to help build a caring and healthy community through partnerships. The group's mission is to help people help themselves by leading people to self-sufficiency through advocacy, education and temporary assistance.