LOGAN – Mail carriers across the valley and throughout the country are preparing for their 32nd annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive to be held this Saturday, May 11.

Food drive 2

Mail carriers will be putting food drive collection bags in mail boxes this week.

Food drive 2

Mail carriers will be putting food drive collection bags in mail boxes this week.

“Letter carriers travel through the communities daily, often coming face to face with a sad reality for too many, hunger,” said Logan Postmaster Katie Evertsen.

“Each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect non-perishable food donations from our customers,” she added. “These donations go directly to local food pantries to provide food to people who need our help.”

Over the course of its 30-year plus history, the drive has collected well over 1.9 billion pounds of food, thanks to a postal service universal delivery network that spans the entire nation, including Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“The need for food donations is great. Currently, more than 44 million Americans are unsure where their next meal will come from,” Evertsen said. “More than 13 million are children who feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school.”

She said nearly 5.5 million seniors over age 60 are food insecure, with many who live on fixed incomes often too embarrassed to ask for help.

The bags filled with nonperishable food should be left out by mailboxes before 9 a.m. on Saturday.

The timing for this food drive is crucial to food banks and pantries across the country, even locally. Most of their donations come during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. By this time of year, pantries are getting low on commodities and are entering the summer low on supplies.

Many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available for children in need during the summer.

Matt Whitaker, the executive director of the Cache Food Pantry, welcomes food donations this time of year.

“The Post office is supposed to put a bag in everyone’s mailbox” Whitaker said. “If people fill the bag with nonperishable food items and put it by their mailbox, the letter carriers will pick it up. We appreciate the food drive this time of year. The last food drive was in March; this one will help keep us stocked for summer.”

The bags filled with nonperishable food should be left out by mailboxes before 9 a.m. on Saturday.

The U.S. Postal Service have collected over 2 billion pounds of food in the United States over the years they have held this national food drive.

The economy is forcing more families to rely on assistance from the Cache Community Food Pantry. The number of families the pantry is helping continues to grow. Currently, they have nearly 1,200 families a month they are helping.

“We have 25 other agencies we serve, places like Cache Employment (and Training), CAPSA, Common Ground (Outdoor Adventures), several churches,” Whitaker said. “We also have eight different senior citizen centers that rely on us for help.”

“We appreciate the food donations,” he added. “We usually yield about 40,000 pounds from the Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.”

Over 300,000 Utahns are facing food insecurity and local letter carriers will collect and deliver food donations to Cache Food Pantry.

“People in Cache Valley are amazing,” Whittaker said. “Cache Valley residents are generally pretty generous and step up to fill our needs.”

Receiving help from the Cache Food Pantry is a simple process. Candidates should fill out an application and bring a paystub for each working member of the household and proof of address. Usually, a proof of address is a utility bill, rental contract or mortgage statement.

The Logan-based pantry is located at 359 S. Main St.

The Cache Food Pantry is part of a statewide network of 216 partner agencies. All donations will be distributed to food pantries located in the community where the donation is made.

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