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Daily Newscasts

Some Heavy Lifting for WA Letter Carriers

May 9, 2013

VANCOUVER, Wash. - Saturday's "Stamp Out Hunger" event, the largest annual food drive in Washington and the nation, also is one of the busiest days of the year for letter carriers who pick up all that food as they deliver the mail.

They'll be assisted by a small army of volunteers who will collect and sort the food as it's brought back to local post offices.

Clark County's proximity to Portland makes it part of the Oregon Food Bank Network, and letter carrier Jennifer Paudel is coordinating this weekend's food drive for the county.

"We do need people to come and help at the post office locations," she said. "We have 129,000 emergency food boxes each year that go to Clark County residents, and so the need - across the county and across the state - is great."

In Clark County alone, the goal of this year's "Stamp Out Hunger" drive is 150,000 pounds of food - up from 120,000 pounds last year. Statewide, Washington's goal is 2 million pounds.

Susannah Morgan, who heads the Oregon Food Bank, said this one-day effort keeps local food banks stocked through the summer - and it is just as important for the postal workers.

"I have heard from many letter carriers through the years that this is an extremely meaningful day for them," Morgan said, "a way that connects their day-to-day work in the community, as a chance to be able to return some benefits to folks they see that are struggling on their routes."

Those who miss Saturday's food pickup in their neighborhoods can drop off food donations at any post office by May 15.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WA