A Day in the Life: Are You as Fit as Your Mail Carrier?

Could you walk an average of six miles per day?

That’s routine for Ron Kammers and it’s all in a day’s work.

Ron Kammers delivering mail on his Heritage Hill route.
Ron Kammers delivering mail on his Heritage Hill route in Grand Rapids.

The United States Postal Service carrier has been delivering the mail since 2006. His regular Grand Rapids route takes him up Michigan Street hill, where he delivers to local businesses and health care organizations. He then winds his way through the historic Heritage Hill neighborhood bordered by College Avenue, Fountain and Lafayette streets.

If he adds on a pivot route, taking on part of another carriers’ territory when they’re on vacation or out sick, he could be looking at a 12-mile day. All while lugging his mail bag full of letters and packages. Kammers said carriers are encouraged to plan for the rigor of their day, bringing enough food and water to keep them nourished and hydrated. Breaks during long, hot summer days and on brutally cold winter days are encouraged.

Kammers’ favorite days to deliver come during spring and fall, when temperatures reach highs of 50 to 60 degrees. The humidity of summer is hard, but cold rain is the worst in his opinion. He’d rather have snow.

“With rain, it soaks through you and when it’s 30 or 40 degrees out, that sticks with you all day,” he said.

Ron Kammers delivering mail on his Heritage Hill route. Still, he loves the freedom of working outside and enjoys getting to know people who live and work in the neighborhoods he serves.

“You get to talk to people and interact with people on your route,” he said.

Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive May 12

An event he looks forward to every year is the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Stamp Out Hunger food drive. This year’s event takes place on Saturday, May 12. Carriers pick up non-perishable goods set out by people on their route.

Last year’s event yielded 75 million pounds of food across the country. Collected goods are distributed to local food pantries. The timing is strategic, with food banks and shelters running low on donations from the winter holidays and with summer on the horizon, when most school meal programs are suspended.

“I think it’s an important event for the community and the post office itself,” Kammers said.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan employees across the state are working to collect non-perishable food items in support of this year’s Stamp Out Hunger efforts.

To join Blue Cross in supporting the Stamp Out Hunger food drive, simply place a bag of non-perishable food items by your mailbox on the morning of Saturday, May 12, 2018.

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Photo credit (main image) Vetatur Fumare

Photo credit (Ron Kammer images) Julie Bitely, A Healthier Michigan

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