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Stamp Out Food Drive a ‘success’ for local pantries

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(BCR photo/Lyle Ganther)
Postal employees Scott Maschek (left) and Dave Mead of the Princeton Post Office shop Friday for items for the U.S. Post Office Food Drive held Saturday around the country.

PRINCETON – This past Saturday, people all over the nation took part in the 21st annual Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger Food drive.

Citizens were asked out leave non-perishable food items in their mailbox. As their letter carriers delivered the mail, they collected the food items, which in turn went to local food pantries everywhere.

Princeton food drive coordinator Scott Maschek said the Stamp Out Food Drive was important to take part in, because donations help the pantries boost their shelves in time for the summer months.

Vanessa Hoffeditz, director of Tri-County Opportunities Council in Princeton, was thrilled with the amount collected in her area. Although she didn’t have a final number of pounds collected, she said it was “definitely more than last year.”

“We can’t thank them enough, some folks came in on their day off to help out with this,” she said about the letter carriers.

Hoffeditz said she was grateful for the collection, because the summer months can be tough for food panties. She said a lot of people tend to forget there is still a need in the summer compared to around the holidays. She said the need is even more so sometimes because students are at home during the summer.

Although the food drive was labeled a “success,” Hoffeditz said the food will go quickly and will not last through the summer.

At the Western Bureau County Food Pantry, the results were “amazing,” according to director Mary Lanham.

About 1,046 pounds of food were collected. She said it was quite the boost from last year’s 830 pounds.

“People really outdid that number this year,” she said. “It was a nice selection of food and a lot variety for our people.”

The Wyanet Food Pantry, located in the basement of the Wyanet United Methodist Church, also saw a greater number of food this year.

Wyanet Postmaster Gina Ohda confirmed 390 pounds were collected on Saturday.

Ohda said the food collected also was a “great variety of items.”

“We are very appreciative of everything we got and it all stays right there in Wyanet,” she said.

It’s been a few years since Spring Valley participated in the Stamp Out Food Drive, but residents didn’t forget.

Nearly 3,000 pounds of food was collected for the Hall Township Food Pantry sponsored by Project Success.

“It was actually a community event as different groups joined forces to help the carriers,” said pantry director Jan Martin.

As of Monday, donations were still arriving at the pantry from people who forgot or set out their donations too late for the mail carrier. Martin said she expected totals to top a ton-and-a-half.

“The needs at the pantry have increased and we are facing a long summer. This drive will make a difference in our giving ability. When one realizes the size of ourgiving community — and then the amount collected — it is a testimony to their giving goodness. We are so grateful,” she said.

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