Hunger on the rise in Calhoun County

A Calhoun County Mission is seeing more people who are going hungry including those who are well educated.

The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive over the weekend will help meet that need. But, it brought in less food than expected this year.

The director of Baptist Service Centers says the group gave out 110,000 pounds of food last year and this year, It's already at around 60-thousand pounds. Even local mail carriers are seeing the need and hope{}the recent food drive can help.

Food continues trickling into the Anniston Post Office collected from the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

"There are{}people that need jobs and families going without. So, we see the need everyday as we deliver mail." David Alexander, a letter carrier for 17 years, says the food drive is a vehicle to meet that need.

Alexander says "The food banks are bare and this is an effort to replenish the food banks."

But despite kind donations left in mailboxes or handed to carriers, "They're saying Mr. Postman, I got my food, I got my food." Alexander says less food was brought back in mail trucks. "We got 18,000 pounds for this area, where last year we got 31,000."

"A can of food may not sound much to you, but someone without food, it's a meal." Rev. Jim Davis says any donation from this drive will be beneficial. "There are granddads and grandmothers and mothers and dads helping their kids the best the can and sometimes the best they can, can't make it."

Davis says Baptist Service Centers distributes 10,000 pounds of food a month to 300 families. People from all backgrounds are in need. "Two ladies came into one of our centers. They had lost their jobs and had masters degrees and they were hurting. They needed food and that's what we're here for."

Davis says anyone can do the same just by looking around and helping those struggling in your own neighborhood. "Even if one person makes a difference, it's a big difference to whomever they touch."

Alexander says the economy, less marketing and the way the food was collected could also be factors in the fewer donations this year. He says plastic bags were used instead of paper bags. He believes people tend to put more in paper bags.. than plastic. The United Way says the drive will help 11 food banks and shelters in the area.