Ashtabula County letter carriers will shoulder the burden of local hunger on Saturday with the Stamp Out Hunger food drive.
County residents can leave donations for their local food pantries in their mailboxes for pickup by postal workers for the National Postal Carriers Food Drive.
“All of the hard work, the planning, the meetings, the checklists, all of that is about to pay off,” National Association of Letter Carriers president Fredric Rolando said. “And our customers who need this food will be the true beneficiaries of this massive, nationwide effort.”
The Stamp Out Hunger drive, which is the largest one-day food drive in the nation, feeds millions of families each year, he said.
Last year, postal workers collected 70.2 million pounds of food across the country in just one day, USPS reports.
“Last year brings our grand total to 1.2 billion pounds (of food over 20 years),” Rolando said.
Geneva Food Pantry director Valerie Leitch said the Geneva Food Pantry is helping more people who need emergency food, and the number of needy people goes up when school ends for the summer.
“Harvest for Hunger and Stamp Out Hunger give us boosts at crucial times,” she said. “We are always working to do more with less, and just about the time when less means very much less, we have Stamp Out Hunger.”
Most needed items at the Geneva pantry include toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, tissues, cold cereal, peanut butter and bread, Leitch said.
Rolando said he understands the crucial timing of the food drive.
“Since food pantries and other service organizations are pretty much tapped out by the time our drive rolls around,” Rolando said, “this infusion of food comes at just the right time.”
Any non-perishable food items, in cans, jars and boxed goods, will be picked up, including canned meats, fish, soup, bottled juice, vegetables, pasta, cereal and rice that do not require refrigeration. Please do not include items that have expired or are in glass containers.
Items can also be dropped off at any post office on Saturday.