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Post offices, carriers plan food drive

PRINCETON — The Princeton Post Office is joining post offices around Bureau County, the state and country in collecting items for Saturday’s annual “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.

On Wednesday, Princeton Post Master Shannon Mattingly said Saturday’s 22nd annual Stamp Out Hunger drive is a joint effort between the U.S. Postal Service, the National Association of Letter Carriers, which handles urban delivery, the National Rural Letter Carriers Association and the Campbell Soup company.

For the city of Princeton, Shannon said a collection box has already been placed in the lobby of the post office, so people can drop off items early if they want. Needed things include any non-perishable food items, as well as paper products and other things like baby wipes and cleaning items, needed by a family, she said.

As far as Saturday’s collection in Princeton, the city carriers will be assisted in the collection by herself and several off-duty postal workers, who are volunteering their time to help, as well as family members and other volunteers, Mattingly said.

The goal is to have the collections completed by noon, so the carriers and volunteers can take all the items to the post office, sort them, and then deliver them to the Bureau County Food Pantry in Princeton, Mattingly said.

Princeton Rural Carrier Dave Mead said he will be helping with Saturday’s food drive. In town, people are encouraged to bring their items to the curb or sidewalk to help with the collection. People on rural routes can leave their donations by the side of their mailboxes or even inside their mailboxes, he said.

Looking ahead to Saturday’s “Stamp Out Hunger” collection, Mead said this is the time of the year when people get busy with their activities and they don’t always think about other people in their communities being hungry. People think about donating to their food pantries during the holidays, but not so much during the summer months. Hopefully, the items collected this Saturday will help carry people through the summer months, he said.

Nationwide, the 2013 Stamp Out Hunger drive brought in 74.4 million pounds of items, which drove the grand total to nearly 1.3 billion pounds during the drive’s history.

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