Bureau County food pantries got a boost this weekend through the 22nd annual Stamp Out Hunger food collections sponsored around the county.
The 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.
On Monday, Princeton Postmaster Shannon Mattingly said Saturday’s collection for Princeton and its rural carriers was a record-breaking one, with 12,735 pounds of items collected for the Bureau County Food Pantry in Princeton.
“We are all so pleased with the generosity of the community. This is a new record for us,” Mattingly said. “I heard over the weekend that the Quad Cities brought in 95,000 pounds of food which is fantastic but when you look at it per capita, Princeton was by far the most generous I’ve ever seen. It makes me really proud and happy to be part of this community.”
In Spring Valley, Hall Township Food Pantry director Jan Martin said the food pantry received about 2,200 pounds of items from Saturday’s postal collection, which was up about 200 pounds from the amount received from last year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Plus, there were also some monetary donations which helps a lot since food pantries can buy things at reduced costs from area food banks, she said.
The needs at the Hall Township Food Pantry are definitely greater during the summer since children aren’t getting any meals at school, Martin said. There are definitely more parents coming to the food pantry during the summer to help feed their families. The annual Stamp Out Hunger drive is an important collection, as are the other collections taken during the year to benefit the Hall Township Food Pantry, Martin said.
On Monday, Walnut Postmaster Jennifer Blackert said the Walnut Post Office and carriers collected 409 pounds of food items, hygiene items and paper products during Saturday’s drive. Last year, the collection was 376 pounds. There was a great variety of things donated by Walnut area residents. As always, the collected items will all go to the Walnut Food Pantry, Blackert said.
Shawna Duncan of the Sheffield Post Office reported 1,439 pounds of food and $300 in cash donations were collected in her area. Looking at the number, she believed it was a record-setting figure for the food collection. The donations were collected and donated to the Western Bureau County Food Pantry on Saturday, Duncan said.
“I think a lot of people are now more generous given the economical issues,” she said. “People are just in the giving mood, I guess.”
On Monday Wyanet Postmaster Gina Ohda said 350 pounds of items were collected on Saturday by her post office and carriers, which is a good amount for a small town. There was a good variety of things donated. All items will go to the Wyanet Food Pantry, she said.
While final numbers had not yet been determined at the Ohio Post Office, Patty Noble reported her area had collected quite a bit of food donations, which are split between the Walnut Food Pantry and Princeton Food Pantry. This was Noble’s first year in the Ohio office during the Stamp Out Food collection and it was a great experience to participant in knowing that it would be benefiting the local food pantries, Noble said.
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