Monday, June 27, 2022
June 27, 2022

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Stamp Out Hunger drive returns as Clark County food pantries seeing great need

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
4 Photos
Pallets of food sit inside the Clark County Food Bank. "The food from Walk and Knock ran out around early April, so the Stamp Out Hunger food drive is coming at a really great time, especially because spring and summer are historically not a time that people donate a lot of food," said Clark County Food Bank warehouse manager Brent Derocher.
Pallets of food sit inside the Clark County Food Bank. "The food from Walk and Knock ran out around early April, so the Stamp Out Hunger food drive is coming at a really great time, especially because spring and summer are historically not a time that people donate a lot of food," said Clark County Food Bank warehouse manager Brent Derocher. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

The Walk and Knock food drive fills food pantries across Southwest Washington through the winter, but now the shelves are bare.

May is usually when that food supply begins to dry up. This year, however, that food supply was gone by early April, according to Clark County Food Bank warehouse manager Brent Derocher.

That’s where the Stamp Out Hunger food drive comes in.

After a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger food drive will return for its 30th anniversary on Saturday.

“Our drive’s timing is crucial,” said organizer Don Young. “Food banks and pantries often receive the majority of their donations during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need.”

To participate in this year’s food drive, leave a nonperishable food donation in a bag by your mailbox by 9 a.m. Saturday, and your letter carrier or volunteer will do the rest. Letter carriers will take whatever pantry staples people are willing to donate.

You can also donate online at clarkcountyfoodbank.org/stampouthunger.

In years past, letter carriers distributed yellow plastic bags for people to fill with food donations. This year, bags will not be distributed.

Young said people shouldn’t fret if they forget to leave a donation or if carriers and volunteers accidentally miss their bags on Saturday. They will simply be picked up later in the week. People may also bring donations to the nearest post office.

Since the food drive had to be canceled the past two years, Young said he is focused on getting the word out about the event.

“We’re reestablishing ourselves,” he said.

The goal this year is to raise 100,000 pounds of food, a more modest goal compared with years past, but one Young hopes will be achievable. In his 27 years serving as the Stamp Out Hunger food drive organizer for Clark County, Young has had a goal of netting 200,000 pounds of food during the event.

This year might not be the year that dream will come true, he said, but anything is possible.

“The need for food donations is great,” he said. “Currently, one in four people throughout Clark County are unsure where their next meal is coming from.”

Event organizers are seeking volunteers to participate on the day of the event. Volunteers will assist mail carriers with picking up food. To sign up to volunteer or to learn more, call Young at 360-904-6972 or email postal44@comcast.net.

Over the course of its 29-year history, the drive has collected 1.88 billion pounds of food thanks to a postal service universal delivery network that spans the entire nation, including Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Young said.

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