The Rapidian

Grand Rapids letter carriers to Stamp Out Hunger this Saturday

Stamp Out Hunger organizers hope to collect 70,000 pounds of food for West Michigan families in need.
Feeding America West Michigan staff members Ryan VanMaldegen and Katie Auwers unpack Stamp Out Hunger donations, May 2015.

Feeding America West Michigan staff members Ryan VanMaldegen and Katie Auwers unpack Stamp Out Hunger donations, May 2015. /Feeding America West Michigan

What To Donate:

Feeding America West Michigan says a good rule of thumb when donating food is to consider what you yourself would like to eat. Food should never be expired or partially eaten. Whole-grains and proteins are always appreciated.

  • Peanut butter
  • Whole-grain pasta
  • Rice
  • Canned soup
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned tuna or chicken

Also accepted: toothpaste, shampoo, deoderant, tampons and pads. Non-food items should be kept separate from food.

Stamp Out Hunger is the nation's largest single-day food drive.

Stamp Out Hunger is the nation's largest single-day food drive. /National Association of Letter Carriers

On Saturday, May 14, the Grand Rapids letter carriers will once again take part in the nationwide Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Their goal: to collect 70,000 pounds of food, a roughly 10 percent increase from last year.

On May 14, letter carriers around the country will be going door to door collecting food for local hunger-relief charities. In Grand Rapids, that food will be donated to Feeding America West Michigan.

“This is one of the oldest and most fruitful partnerships we have,” said CEO Ken Estelle. “We’re honored that they’ve chosen to support us again this year.”

“People need to understand the amount of effort the letter carriers put into making this happen. Many of them have to make three or four runs to collect all the food on their routes. It really is an incredible amount of food,” Estelle said.

Letter carrier Andrea Faulkner is coordinating the food drive in Grand Rapids. Faulkner says she finds the event personally meaningful.

“I just think it’s a great opportunity to help those who are less fortunate. I love the idea that Feeding America West Michigan is so broad-based. They provide food to agencies that serve wounded vets, low-income kids, domestic violence victims — so when you’re supporting the food bank, you’re helping all these other organizations fulfill their core missions as well.”

Those wishing to participate in Stamp Out Hunger have two options. They can fill a bag with healthy, nonperishable food and leave it by their mailboxes in time for their normal Saturday delivery. Or they can give a meal online at FeedWM.org/StampOutHunger. Every dollar donated provides four meals to those in need.

As a reminder to give, Meijer is providing paper grocery bags to most free-standing residences in Grand Rapids. All Grand Rapids residents will also receive an informational postcard this week.

Local sponsors include Fox 17, Meijer, Heart of West Michigan United Way, the Kent-Ionia Labor Council and the National Association of Letter Carriers.

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