Mail carrier food drive May 10

By Correne Martin

Every second Saturday in May, the United States Postal Service puts its best letter forward in an effort to Stamp Out Hunger in our communities.

Once again this year, local mail carriers are asking for help from the public to fill a bag and feed the community.

The Prairie du Chien Post Office will participate in the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, May 10. City residents will receive special bags delivered by mail carriers later this week, according to Postmaster Darryl Martin. They are asked to fill a bag with non-perishable food and leave it by their mailbox prior to 9 a.m. on May 10. If a bag is not delivered in advance of the food drive, residents are encouraged to use their own bags.

Mail carriers and volunteers will make rounds in Prairie du Chien May 10 to collect the donations, which they will take to the Faith Evangelical Free Church on Cass Street to be sorted for the CouleeCap Food Pantry. The food will officially find a home on the pantry’s shelves the following week.

Food pantry employees and volunteers will perform the large task of sorting the food. Typically, the Rotary Club, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and high school students, as well as other community volunteers, are enlisted to lend a hand.

“We have received over 5,000 pounds from this food drive in the past,” said Peggy Gallagher, CouleeCap Food Pantry coordinator. “We are very fortunate in Prairie du Chien with all the food drives we have.”

Why the second Saturday in May? According to the Stamp Out Hunger Facebook page, food banks and shelters usually benefit from an upswing in charitable donations during the winter holiday season—but by springtime, their stocks tend to dwindle to critically low levels. Plus, many school meal programs are suspended during summer months, so millions of children are left scrambling to find alternate sources of nutrition.

In 2013, the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive collected more than 74 million pounds of food from across the nation. Cumulatively, the food drive has brought in nearly 1.3 billion pounds in 21 years.
“We are happy to be able to do our part in giving back to the community, especially when it means feeding local families,” Martin said.

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