Canned goods and other non-perishable items now line the shelves of Venice- and North Port-area pantries after tons of food was donated Saturday during the 27th annual Letter Carriers Food Drive. More than 100 volunteers came out to the two Salvation Army locations as goods were delivered, sorted and boxed up for pantries that will help those in need during the summer months.

“We have a lot of volunteers here helping us sort through all of the canned goods that our neighbors put out at their mailboxes today,” said Salvation Army Capt. Jamie Bell, who was working in Venice. Among the organizations which benefited from the donations were (in Venice) the Salvation Army, Center of Hope, Trinity United Methodist Church (Community Action Ministry) and Venice Church of the Nazarene and (in North Port) the Salvation Army, New Hope Community Church and Trinity United Methodist Church.

The event is held annually on the second Saturday in May.

Donations in 2019 are about the same as last year, “which is good,” Bell said. “The food that the Salvation Army received from last year’s drive helped us stock our food pantry into the fall, which is great because the summertime tends to be slower on donations, but the need is great.”

The carriers’ drive is over but the aforementioned churches and charities still seek donated canned goods — and volunteers to sort them — year round.

For more information, call 941-484-6227.

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