Slidell postal workers collect food to donate to hungry _lowres

Photo provided by Good Sams -- More than 70 volunteers showed up at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church to off-load, sort and check food for expired dates the thousands of non-perishable food donations collected by U.S. postal workers with the Slidell Postal Union 4413 as part of the 2015 Stamp Out Hunger event.

U.S. postal carriers with Slidell Postal Union 4413 collected donations throughout the Slidell and Pearl River communities for the 2015 Stamp Out Hunger. Hundreds of pounds of food were brought to the Good Samaritan Ministry at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church in Slidell.

More than 70 volunteers helped to sort the donations, which were distributed to more than 10 food banks to help replenish their shelves during the critical summer months.

Good Sams coordinated with the local food banks to ensure every bank that wanted a portion of the donations could secure what it needed.

“Summer is the busiest time of year for food banks,” Sue Rotolo, Good Sams program director, said. “When school closes for the summer, so do their breakfast and lunch programs, and families are faced with additional food needs. Emergency food banks can help alleviate the strain of providing nutritious meals for families.”

Charles Johnson, the Good Sams food team leader, said program food baskets from the Good Sams Emergency Food Pantry are an important way the ministry serves people and families in crisis. The program addresses families’ imminent needs while connecting them with long-term solutions.

As an authorized Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program application center, Good Sams can assist in processing applications for food stamp benefits, and the ministry also is a certified distribution site for the Food for Seniors Program.

The food pantry is always accepting food and monetary donations. The most in-demand items include: milk (canned and dry), peanut butter, jelly, tomato sauce, canned veggies, tuna, canned meats, chili, canned pasta sauces and dishes, canned fruit, dried rice, dried beans, spaghetti, boxed mashed potatoes, cookies, cake mix, instant rice, soup, spaghetti, noodles, macaroni and cheese, side dishes, boxed dinners and all other pantry goods.

Anyone needing assistance with SNAP or Food for Seniors applications can call the Good Sams. For questions about the emergency food pantry, call Charles Johnson at (985) 641-6421.

Donations can be brought to the Good Samaritan Ministry, 910 Cross Gates Blvd., Slidell.