It wasn't just a normal Saturday for United States Postal Workers, mail carriers all over the country were busy picking up more than mail.
For 31 years, Darryl Partee has delivered mail to the people of Panama City and as much as he enjoys his job, it's days like Saturday that make it really special."It's a great thing to do, it's a good feeling when you're helping other people who really need help."
Saturday, Partee was picking up more than mail, he was collecting non-perishable foods and the Post Office of Panama City will be delivering the donated items to area food banks. "Well we still have to deliver the mail, and we still have to get back in a timely fashion but we still want to pick up as much food and we thank all the volunteers that helped out and all the participants", said Partee.
This year marks the 22nd Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive and many residents on Partee's route participate each year. Resident Susan Southerland said, "I mean it's great, It's a really good neighborhood and I did notice when I put mine out this morning that a lot of people had done it and it just makes you good that that many people feel blessed enough to help."
The food drive is also a friendly competition between branches across the country and Panama City takes it seriously. "Last year I think we did about 58,000 pounds and we are hoping to do a lot more this year, last year it was raining but we hope we can have more participation this year. For our size city we are doing pretty good, we just want to keep increasing every year", said Partee.
"I've just done it every single time I've seen it advertised or get the bags in my mailbox because we are just so blessed, and I feel like it's a small way to give back", said Southerland.
This year was Partee's 20th food drive, but it may be his last. "I'm planning on retiring, so maybe have one or two of these left." Southerland said of Partee, "I love our mailman, I have a great relationship with him and I talk to him all the time and I think it's great that they do that."
Saturday, Panama City branch collected more than 60,000 pounds of donated goods and will be distributing them to area food banks.