Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive to take place Saturday

By: Emily Jones | C&G Newspapers | Published May 10, 2019

 The National Association of Letter Carriers will pick up nonperishable food items placed near mailboxes May 11 and take them to local food banks.

The National Association of Letter Carriers will pick up nonperishable food items placed near mailboxes May 11 and take them to local food banks.

Photo by David Wallace

MACOMB COUNTY — Residents will be able to help out the hungry soon without leaving the comfort of their homes. The nationwide Stamp out Hunger Food Drive will be coming to Macomb County May 11.  

Residents are encouraged to donate any amount of nonperishable food they would like to give and leave it near their mailboxes to be picked up. Letter carriers from all over Macomb County, in addition to their normal duties, will be picking up the donated food. The National Association of Letter Carriers puts on the annual food drive.

“We just ask that the food be nonperishable, non-expired items … canned foods, some dried goods. We really are typically short on high-protein items,” said Shannon Mallory, program manager at the Macomb Food Program, which benefits from the drive. 

She went on to say that things that may be simple for people to donate are actually highly sought-after items.  

“Peanut butter is a high value item. … Canned tuna and canned fish are things that are really sought out by our pantries,” Mallory said.

Some other items to consider donating include rice, oatmeal, low-sugar cereals and macaroni. 

Further in-demand items include canned fruits and vegetables, canned fish, and fruit juice. Cooking oil and boxed cooking mixes are great ideas as well. 

Foods may be packaged in plastic, boxes or cans. The only things that should not be donated are perishable items and things that are in glass jars, as Mallory said they don’t “fare well during transit.” 

Any donation a household makes is tax deductible. Any donation goes directly to a family in need. 

“The food drove is crucial to serve our mission here to feed the hungry in Macomb County. We would like to thank the community for the support of our program,” Mallory said.

The letter carriers are the big stars of the show, as they have to work extra hard in addition to doing their normal job functions. 

“Our letter carriers are dedicated to the NALC food drive, and they certainty appreciate the customers that help with their donations,” said Elizabeth Najduch, U.S. Postal Service Michigan media contact. 

The letter carriers are not alone, however, as many volunteers come in to help out. Najduch said that some families have made it a tradition to get out on the Stamp Out Hunger day and help out. 

“It’s a family affair. … It’s a community event,” she said.

Michael Hendren, president of NALC Branch 4374, representing South Macomb Letter Carriers, agrees with that sentiment. After being a letter carrier for over 30 years and participating in Stamp Out Hunger since its inception, he’s seen firsthand the ways in which the event can draw people together. 

His three daughters with their families and his grandchildren all “parade up and down the street” to collect the food left out by giving neighbors. 

“It’s everybody: friends, family and community all coming together. We’ve had great, great results,” said Hendren. 

An important aspect of the food drive is that the donated food stays in the community to help. 

“People realize that they’re helping a lot of friends and family and neighbors. Hard times come upon us,” Hendren said. 

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