87,300 lbs. of food

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Stamp Out Hunger Volunteers

Contributor: Nicole Schreck, Appleton City Letter Carrier and Food Drive Volunteer Coordinator

It begins with a small postcard reminder in your mailbox. The postcard is followed by an empty grocery bag left for you to fill. Then, with the simple act of filling the bag with non-perishable food items and leaving it by your mailbox, you join the community to Stamp Out Hunger during the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Food Drive. Your simple act, multiplied throughout our community, makes a profound impact. This year, in Appleton, Kimberly, Neenah, Menasha, New London, Greenville, and Sherwood, we collected 87,300 pounds of food, up from last year’s total of 79,054 pounds.

Behind the scenes, there is a lot of action that takes place to help your donation reach our local food pantries. Stamp Out Hunger is a day that your letter carrier does their normal job delivering mail and parcels, in addition to picking up food donations. At the Appleton Post Office, we are fortunate to have an excellent volunteer base. Teams of volunteers work together to canvass neighborhoods and help pick up grocery bags. The volunteers also meet up with letter carriers to unload full trucks and shuttle the food to the post office. Once the food makes it to the post office, volunteers take it out of the bags. Then the food is sorted into tubs, weighed, moved, loaded onto trucks, and sent to our local food pantries.

The timing of the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is crucial. Food banks and pantries often receive the majority of their donations during the Thanksgiving and winter holiday seasons. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, causing them to begin summer with very low supplies. With each and every bag filled up by community members and picked up by letter carriers and volunteers, we are making a difference for families in need.

I want to thank everyone who put a bag out by their mailbox and all of the volunteers who gave their time and energy. Even though the food drive is over, you can still make donations to our local food banks throughout the year – let’s continue to Stamp Out Hunger together!

Published in partnership with the Volunteer Center of East Central Wisconsin.