Take a Dan Rams, a postman from Cape Coral, duplicate it with 337,000 mates, and you have about the same number of men and women who went door-to-door in America on Saturday and food for starvation
Since 1993, when it began, the National Association of Postman Food Drive has become the world's largest one-day food collection, according to its literature.
At the Post Office of Fort Myers, Page Field, the scene was filled with joy as mail carriers returned to the loading docks and spent goods while volunteers rearranged beans from the Spaghetti sauce and "Hey, look, a fresh coconut!"
With a provisional £ 210,250 collected by the end of the Saturday, the organizers predicted that this year's Drive will exceed £ 300,000 in recent years; Enough for 250,000 meals, said Richard LeBer, head of the Harry Bank Food Bank, whose staff help to coordinate the efforts of the five countries.
But they are not finished yet.
"We think to feed everyone in Southwest Florida needs twice as much as we get," said LeBer.
How much does it cost?
"About 40 million pounds per year, or about 35 million meals, our best guess is that this year, we need to feed around 170,000 people in the five districts," he said.
Hundreds of food pantris are working on this challenge, and there's a quick way to help them. Their goal: Anyone who has not left a bag of food on Saturday – that's many – can go until Friday, May 18, go to a local post office at any time.
On the Saturday streets of Cape Coral, Rams' Route on Tower Drive began with only two households hanging small plastic bags of food at their mailboxes.
"I remember what it's like to be hungry," said Marion Morris, who stuffed two bags with her husband Lloyd. "I was in hard times, when people have to eat, I feed them."
Most of the attractive middle-class streets were immersed in the Saturday activities of tinkering with the jeep, harvesting the mango trees and splashing around with the kids in the pool ,
The most lavish neighborhoods will surprise you, said Rams and his comrades.
"I think people on my route are better off, so they do not give that much," said Rams, who has been doing the food campaign every year since 2001 when he became a postman. "It's the people who have less, who are more generous."
Mike Alayon, a postman on a Page Field route, remembers a food trip where he transported groceries from his colleagues to help them
"I've seen the different areas," Alayon said. "In Tice, which is not the most thriving, the carriers had to unload their trucks three or four times and go back for more because there was so much food."
Alayon also knows what it's like to need help during a hard workout. At a time when he could not find work and his wife supported the family with a minimum wage, food stamps helped to see through her.
"I'll never look down on someone who needs something because I need it," he said. Postman Mike Alayon will be working on a post at Fort Myers Page Field on Saturday as part of the 26th annual National Postman Transport Association. Postman Mike Alayon is working on a mail route in the Fort Myers Page Field area on Saturday for the 26th Annual National Association of Postman Food Ride (Photo: Patricia Borns / The News Press)
Alayon Post's work brings its Family in a better comfort zone, but many postmen in the past decades qu After a appeal strike in 1970, then-President Richard Nixon called for the pay raises of freight forwarders, and – after he first brought the staff of the Army, Navy and Air Force into the country had job – the president gave way.
Today, about 1 in 8 people you meet in Florida use a pantry to expand their grocery dollars. But despite the facts about food aid – those who need it are workers who are dealing with a temporary crisis – it still carries a stigma.
"Most of our data says we see people for three or six months at a time," LeBer said, "Usually because they lost their job or had a serious medical crisis, it happens to people all the time."  Supermarkets provide an efficient food chain for those who can reach and afford them, he says. For everyone else, there are the 175 food pantries he works with.
Searching for food fills the pantries when stocks are at their lowest and Florida Floridan families need them the most, because they have less time to spend a season and children who do not three fields need because they do not get the school breakfast or lunch.
"A full meal is about a pound or a bit over, so a bag is a few or three meals for someone mixed with other things," said LeBer. "I would love if everyone would give it."
Follow this reporter on Twitter @PatriciaBorns
Local Post Offices will accept donated, non-perishable food by Friday, May 18th.
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