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Stamp Out Hunger: Nation's Largest Single-Day Food Drive

Letter carriers are collecting nonperishable food items on Saturday in partnership with local food banks. (RDPixelShop)
Letter carriers are collecting nonperishable food items on Saturday in partnership with local food banks. (RDPixelShop)
May 12, 2017

TILLAMOOK, Ore. – On Saturday, letter carriers are making fighting hunger as simple as checking the mail. Oregonians can leave nonperishable food items in bags or boxes near their mailboxes for collection.

The Stamp Out Hunger food drive is the largest single-day food drive in the country.

Levi Johnson, who helps coordinate the drive in Tillamook County, says county food banks receive more than 45 percent of all locally donated food-drive items for the whole year on this day. He says the timing of the drive is especially important.

"There's a huge need for food in the summertime, especially when you have children getting out of school," he says. "Sometimes the only meal that they depend on is what they're getting at the schools."

The National Association of Letter Carriers partners with food banks on the drive. More than 640,000 Oregonians aren't sure where their next meal is coming from, or are considered "food insecure." Of those, more than 220,000 are children.

Johnson says everyone in the community participates in the drive, no matter what income bracket they are in. He says a few years ago, a letter carrier came back to tell a story of a family who didn't have much to give but wanted to help out anyway.

"They know this family is just in dire straits, really hard up, having a hard time," he adds. "But they donated all this food and they said, 'You know, there is somebody out there that's probably doing worse than I am, and I want to help those people out.'"

This year is the 25th anniversary of Stamp Out Hunger. Yellow bags for non-perishable food items are being distributed this week and collected on Saturday, although donations will be accepted in any type of bag or box.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR