Nationwide food drive helps Holt food pantry
HOLT, Fla., May 6, 2022—The country’s largest one-day food drive happens Saturday.
After suspending the drive for two years due to the pandemic, the National Association of Letter Carriers will collect non-perishable food items while making their delivery rounds.
Customers can leave their donations next to their mailboxes before mail delivery and letter carriers will collect them as they deliver the mail.
All food collected in the Holt area will remain here and will go to stock the Holt Community Food Pantry.
“This food drive is very important to the Holt pantry,” said Donna Ash, pantry director. “Not having it the past two years left a huge hole on our shelves.”
The drive, held annually on the second Saturday in May nationwide, comes at a time when food banks, pantries and shelters run low on donations from the winter holidays, and with summer approaching, when most school meal programs are suspended.
In 2019, the last time the drive was held, an estimated 3,500 pounds of food collected from the Holt/Baker/Milligan community went to the pantry.
Related: “Food drive stocks pantry shelves”
Holt’s pantry, open the second and fourth Wednesday of the month, served 125 families for a total of 332 people last month, said Jackie Tyler, pantry manager. Beginning next month, pantry hours will return to being open every Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to noon.
For Saturday’s drive, people are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery.
“This food drives give us a month worth of canned goods,” Tyler said. We’ll take anything,” but specific items needed are Ramen noodles, oatmeal, cereal, jelly and crackers, items the pantry consistently “runs short of,” she said.
And donations help stretch the pantry’s food budget further, she said.
For those who want to donate directly to the Holt food pantry can do so at any time. The pantry also accepts fresh garden produce from local farmers.
“Anyone can contribute to the pantry through First Baptist Church of Holt,” Ash said. “They can drop off items at the church or Holt Water Works, or call for pickup at 850-240-5287 or 850-537-2170.”
Monetary donations are also accepted and can be mailed to: First Baptist Church of Holt Food Pantry, P. O. Box 38, Holt, FL 32564.