Stamp Out Hunger food drive returns after 2-year absence Saturday

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 5:02 PM CDT
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BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) - The National Association of Letter Carriers will hold its 30th annual National Food Drive on Saturday.

The NALC requests community members leave their donations of nonperishable food items in a sturdy bag next to their mailbox before delivering mail on Saturday. Letter carriers will then collect the donations as they deliver mail along their postal routes.

United States Postal Service strategic communication specialist Mark Inglett says due to COVID-19 protocols, mail carriers weren’t able to collect donations for the last two years.

”We are back and better than ever, and hoping folks will take the time to set out a can or two, or maybe a set of four,” said Inglett. “Just stay away from glass or anything perishable.”

Inglett says one great thing about the campaign is all food collected stays local. Taney County’s Christian Action Ministries Food Pantry is one of many food banks across the Ozarks benefiting rom the Stamp Out Hunger campaign. CAM assistant director Michelle Dean says staff has seen more than a 50% increase in people needing access to food.

”We contribute that to several factors but mainly being the rise in cost in food and other things like gas and utilities,” said Dean.

Dean says as the cost of everyday items increases. It starts to crunch families’ budgets, causing them to pick and choose between the necessities. She says this food drive is also impactful because access to food is difficult during certain times of the year.

”One of the biggest things we have difficulty getting access to are types of protein for our families,” Dean said. “Canned meats and peanut butter are always a really good substance we can put in our food bags.“

”You don’t have to give till it hurts. Just give because it’s going to help,” said Inglett.

Since the food drive began 30 years ago, it has collected around 1.82 billion pounds of food for struggling people.

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