By Cara Pattison
The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and the Yukon Manna Pantry are teaming-up for the 31st Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, May 13.
This is the largest one-day food drive in the United States.
“Every year, letter carriers collect tens of millions of pounds of food to help those in need,” NALC President Brian Renfroe said. “More than 34 million Americans, including nine million children experience food insecurity and rely on food donations.
Annually, the food drive provides a unique opportunity for us all to come together with a common goal of giving back to those are struggling to feed their families.”
The food donated via the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive stays in the community and goes to local food banks.
This year’s local recipient is the Manna Pantry, Canadian County’s leading emergency food bank.
Manna Pantry is in its second year at the Together We Center on the Trinity Baptist Church – Yukon campus.
“This is the largest annual food drive for Manna Pantry, and we encourage people to help-out their fellow county residents by participating,” Manna Pantry director Sherri Rogers said.
“Last year, we brought in 30,000 pounds of food and this year we have a goal of 35,000 pounds. With inflation and the loss of pandemic food stamps, food insecurity has been increasing.”
Postal carriers are leaving plastic bags with mail customers on their routes in the coming days prior to the event. Residents are asked to fill the bags with nonperishable canned and dry goods that will be collected on May 13.
“We need things like canned spaghetti sauce, boxed cereal, canned fruit and vegetables, Hamburger Helper, and boxed macaroni and cheese,” Rogers said.
Mail carriers and Manna Pantry volunteers will pick-up the bags of food from local mailboxes, and bring the donations to the Manna Pantry, 620 N. Cemetery Rd. From there, Manna Pantry volunteers will weigh, sort, and pack food boxes to feed the needy.
Rogers forecasts needing 50-60 volunteers to help with this event.
Volunteers – including churches, sports teams, civic groups, scout groups, companies, families, and individuals may call (405) 265-0193 for more information.
They can also register on the Manna Pantry Facebook page or at postoffice.mannapantryyukon.com.
“We’d like to have 12 volunteers every two hours from 11 a.m. until we get done. They commit to two-hour shifts or can stay as long as they want.
The Manna Pantry distributes food to families on Mondays and Thursdays from 5-8 p.m., Tuesdays from 3-6 p.m., and Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.