Care packages to troops overseas may be halted due to a recent consolidation of postal centers that process military mail.
The United States Postal Service consolidated five military mail postal centers into one location in Chicago, Illinois, causing rates to ship packages overseas to more than double in some instances.
Addiego, Howarth and Peters have launched an online petition to stop extreme rate increases by the U.S. Postal Service to send care packages to troops overseas. (Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey)
New Jersey’s 8th District delegation of Senator Dawn Marie Addiego, Assemblyman Joe Howarth and Assemblyman Ryan Peters are calling on people to sign an online petition urging the United States Postal Service to restore rates back to previous pricing.
“Nonprofits in South Jersey have been blindsided by skyrocketing prices to ship care packages to service men and women overseas. The dramatic cost increase came without warning and threatens to severely slash the amount of parcels being sent out,” Howarth said
“With billions of dollars in various government subsidies propping up the Postal Service every year, surely it can find a way for our troops to get their care packages. Join us in this fight and make your voices heard,” he continued.
Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey, which teams up with the 8th District legislators every holiday season to hold a cookie drive for troops overseas, has been hit hard by 100 percent rate increases and is facing the reality of having to scale back its operation.
“In 2017, we shipped almost 1,900 care packages at over 62,000 pounds at a shipping expense of roughly $55,000. It does not take a mathematician to see that if we did around 60,000 pounds again, it would now cost us well over $100,000. OYR simply cannot afford that operating model as we would burn through our cash too quickly,” said Dave Silver, the President of Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey.
The consolidation has had far-reaching effects in South Jersey as cost increases have more than doubled for Liberty USO Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, the nonprofit organization that handles shipping for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, according to Peters, who serves as Board Chairman of the Liberty USO branch.
“The sudden price increase is a sucker punch to our service members overseas who rely on care packages as a lifeline to home and a much-needed respite from the pressures involved with protecting our freedom,” said Peters, who served multiple combat deployments overseas.
Addiego, Peters and Howarth join United States Congressman Tom MacArthur in his efforts to fight back scaling rates. On Monday, MacArthur called on the House Oversight Committee to investigate the rate changes and the impacts it will have on nonprofits.
“No one wants to see our men and women overseas being priced out of their own care packages,” Addiego said. “I’ve seen firsthand the massive effort nonprofits like Operation Yellow Ribbon put into bringing joy to our troops. We need to make sure their mission continues.”
The online petition can be signed at: https://www.senatenj.com/carepackages/
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