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Help Stamp Out Hunger at food drive Saturday

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By Emily Pollok

May 11 is Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day.
“The Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is just one example of how letter carriers work to make a difference in the lives of those they serve,” said Lancaster Mayor Alston DeVenny.
The national event, which started in 1991, takes place on the second Saturday in May and is supported by the United Way. Letter carriers collect non-perishable food items as part of the country’s largest one-day food drive, before delivering them to local food banks.
Since the drive’s inception, more than 1.67 billion pounds of food have been collected.
Locally, the amount of food collected over the last five years has risen from 12,000 to 19,000 pounds.
Mail carriers in Lan-caster ZIP codes collect the food bags each year and take them to the post office, where they are sorted before being delivered to HOPE in Lancaster for distribution.
“HOPE has been privileged to be a recipient of the mail carriers’ food drive for many years now, and it’s really a relationship between the United Way, the mail carriers here in Lancaster, as well as HOPE,” said HOPE Executive Director Bekah Clawson.
Clawson said she is looking forward to an increase in donations again this year.
“We’re hoping to top that 19,000,” she said. “It really helps HOPE out in that we really use that food from May all the way into those really lean summer months when it’s really hard and we have families who have children out of school and they are seeking some extra food for their families…. It really just makes a huge difference.”
DeVenny encourages the community to get involved.
“It’s a great event, and it’s one everybody can participate in,” he said.
Here’s how to support the food drive. In the week before the food-drive day, letter carriers will leave Stamp Out Hunger bags in mail boxes.
Place non-perishable food items in the bag and leave it next to your mailbox.
The letter carriers will pick up the bags May 11.