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You can 'stamp out hunger'

Letter carriers will collect food donations along routes on Saturday, May 10

The National Association of Letter Carriers and the Oregon Food Bank are teaming up on Saturday for the largest one-day food drive of the year.

This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, which takes place on the same day across all 50 states. Last year, between Oregon and Clark County, Washington, 1.1 million pounds of food were collected during the event.

“This food drive comes at a critical time,” said Myrna Jensen, a marketing and communications associate with the Oregon Food Bank. “Thousands of Oregon kids get free and reduced meals during the school year, but once school is out, many won't get the same amount of food at home. Families, who might have been able to get by during the school year, need extra help during the summer so that they can continue to keep up with their other expenses.”

Cindy Patelzick, who has worked at the Tigard Post Office for nearly 30 years, has seen the drive evolve since its inception. The first year, she was shocked at the response from the community. She and her fellow letter carriers worked into the night, filling two semis with non-perishable food items. At the time, they didn't realize they'd need volunteers, but they've since learned that volunteers are just as essential to this cause as everyone else.

“It's an awesome program. I know it's a lot of hard work, but I think it's a really cool thing that we do,” Patelzick said. “Every single house has the opportunity to give food.”

Whether it's through a food donation left outside your mailbox, a monetary donation to the Oregon Food Bank or a few hours of time on Saturday, the letter carriers and food bank are happy for the hand.

You can volunteer for this event by:

• Following a letter carrier route and picking up food to take to the post office.

• Helping unload food from vehicles at the post office and boxing it up to take to Oregon Food Bank.

• Using your professional truck to transport food donations.

To volunteer for food pick up or unloading, visit oregonfoodbank.org/NALC-Voluntters. To provide your truck services, contact Alan McNew at 503-282-0555 or amcnew@oregonfoodbank.org.

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