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26th Annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive happening Saturday


Dan Taylor of Hoosier Hills Food Bank collects food left out by Bloomington residents for the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Sunday, May 10, 2015.  "We have volunteers in different neighborhood, but mailmen are picking up food for us too," he says.  All nonperishable items collected go to Hoosier Hills Food Bank. IDS file photo Buy Photos

For the 26th year running, letter carriers and postal workers will be returning to the post office with a full truck, but of food, not letters.

The annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive is an effort involving the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 828 and Hoosier Hills Food Bank. It's set for Saturday, May 12.  

According to an HHFB press release, last year, Monroe County residents alone donated 48,826 pounds of non-perishable food. 

Joshua Peterson, the president of the NALC Branch 828, said in a press release the epxerience is one all the letter carriers look forward to each year.

“As letter carriers we look forward to being about to help make it easy for the customers to donate by delivering the food to the food bank," Peterson said. "The event is rain or shine and there is no amount too large to give because we will pick it up and deliver it for you!”

Julio Alonso, the HHFB executive director, said last year was excellent for food donations, in part because it was the 25th anniversary for the Stamp Out Hunger food drive. 

"That helped boost our totals," Alonso said.

This is the 36th year HHFB is operating, and the 26th year for the food drive. Around this time of year, supplies are low, which is where the drive comes into the picture.

HHFB and the NALC ask for residents to put any food items next to their mailbox so the items can be picked up by postal workers. Food collected from Monroe County residents will then be transported to HHFB. Food colleted from other counties will go to support different local food pantries as part of the campaign. 

NALC Branch 828 will, according to the release, also collect food in communities with delivery in Greene, Lawrence and Owen counties as well as Martinsville, Odon, Orleans and Paoli.

Some of the items most in need are canned meats, canned fruits and vegetables, cereal and juice.

Alonso explained volunteers and postal workers will be concentrated at three major locations after they're finished with their routes and to start sorting food. They will be at the 10th Street Post Office, the HHFB just off Vernal Pike and at the post office in Ellettsville. 

Hopefully, Alonso said, they'll do as well as last year.

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