May 14 is the day that the National Association of Letter Carriers has set aside to collect food for local food banks to feed the hungry.

Darren White, regional manager for the Central and Northeast Missouri Food Bank, said he was happy to see the event return after a two-year absence.

“This is a food drive called Stamp Out Hunger by the NALC. Everyone is encouraged to set out food by their mailbox on May 14, and the letter carriers, along with volunteers will come by and pick it up,” White said.

He added that Open Door and Salvation Army will benefit from the food collected. The last food drive in 2019 generated 13,000 pounds of goods for local food banks.

“And if you can't give food, we encourage folks to give a monetary donation,” White said, adding that remit envelopes will be included in the bags that will be dropped off earlier in the week.

Letter carrier Julie Taylor, who coordinates the event locally, said that Stamp Out Hunger is the largest one-day food drive in the nation. All the food collected stays in Sedalia, she said, adding that the food will be delivered to Open Door and Salvation Army that same day, Saturday, May 14.

Taylor pointed out that if for some reason you are not able to leave food out on that Saturday, letter carriers can still pick up the donations on the following Monday.

She also stated that this will be her final Stamp Out Hunger event, as she is retiring from the US Postal Service next year. She encouraged everyone to “go all out” this year with their donations.

White said that the Central and Northeast Missouri Food Bank serves 100,00 people each and every month throughout the 32-county region.

“And if you break that down, you've got one in seven people who are food insecure within Pettis County, and one in six of those are kids. And if you look at the food insecurity rate for Pettis County, it's 14.6 percent. The national average for Missouri is roughly 13.3 percent. So Pettis County needs some help, certainly. So I would encourage people to help their neighbors in need. We do ask for non-perishable items (canned goods) – no meat product or turkey,” White said, who noted that he is in his 14th year with the Central and Northeast Missouri Food Bank.

The food bank also uses donated money to purchase food. “So that comes back into the community of Pettis County as well,” White said. “So with every $25 donated, the food bank is able to turn that into roughly 100 meals. So the money goes a long ways.

So get ready to “Stamp Out Hunger” on May 14.

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