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Stamp Out Hunger is in the can

Across the nation, employees collected food for those in need

Two men and a woman fill boxes with canned and boxed food items.
Carriers sort donations at the Warren, MI, Post Office. From left are Steve Rubino, Tiffany Davis and James Wells.

Postal Service employees across the nation collected food donations for their communities during this year’s Stamp Out Hunger drive, held May 11.

The National Association of Letter Carriers leads the annual event, with help from USPS and other organizations. Since its launch in 1993, Stamp Out Hunger has grown into the nation’s largest one-day food drive, with all donations going to local food banks and pantries.

“We always get so excited this time of year,” said Daryl Sexton, a Springfield, MO, carrier technician. “It feels so good to help these local families and to help keep the community strong. It’s an honor to be a part of it.”

Organizers are expected to report this year’s tally by mid-June. Many large communities are reporting thousands of pounds of food in donations.

“The sheer volume of food collected was overwhelming,” said Connor Patton, an Atlantic Area delivery support specialist who helped oversee volunteer efforts in Rochester, NH.

Preparations for Stamp Out Hunger begin weeks in advance. In Riviera Beach, FL, for example, the local Post Office helped get the word out early with a media day on April 30.

“Letter carriers are out in the neighborhoods every single day of the year — we see the communities, we see the struggle there,” Letter Carrier Jeff Wagner told the local ABC station.

The event also brings out former postal employees.

Retirees such as Jeff Weipert, who worked as a letter carrier in Warren, MI, said he enjoys meeting up with his former co-workers and offered a historical perspective on how far the drive has come.  

The first drive was “hectic … we laid all the food out in a vacant parking lot for a local organization to come and pick it up. Now, after all these years, we have a plan and a great system to make every year the best food drive ever.”