Northern Kentucky food pantry Be Concerned brought in over 50,000 pounds of donated food in its 2016 Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, and executive director Andy Brunsman wants to aim even higher for 2017.
"It's one of my favorite days of the year," he said.
Here's how it works: Be Concerned partners with postal workers, who put red cards inside Northern Kentucky mailboxes in order to remind residents to donate on May 13. When that day arrives, workers return to pick up any donations and deliver them to food pantries across the country. Nationally, the drive has collected more than one billion pounds of donated food for people in need.
"Everybody has struggles every once in a while," said Gary Smith, who has worked as a mailman for almost 20 years. "When you're struggling, you'd like somebody to help you, just like when somebody else is struggling, you should help them."
Although the day of the drive brings more heavy lifting than an average one for Smith and his colleagues, he said it's worthwhile to know that postal workers are helping others in their community.
"It helps put food on the table for those who are less fortunate and may not even have any food," he said.
Beneficiaries of the drive include families like Wanda Penick's. Panick said she's grateful for the help that Be Concerned provides for her every day.
"It's hard for me because it's just me and my husband," she said. "This place here has helped me a lot with the food they give me. I really appreciate it."