Donation nation

Pearl City, HI, Letter Carrier Adele Yoshikawa collects donations May 9.

Postal Service employees collected thousands of pounds of food May 9 during this year’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

The collection total is still being tallied, but local numbers are being reported.

For example, almost 174,000 pounds were donated in the Columbia, SC, area, according to The State newspaper. Donations exceeded 111,000 pounds in the Davenport, IA, area, the Quad-City Times reported.

During Stamp Out Hunger, customers place bags of non-perishable food next to their mailboxes. USPS collects the food and donates it to local pantries.

“I don’t mind picking up the food in addition to carrying mail because I know it’s a worthy cause,” said Costa Mesa, CA, Letter Carrier Rhonda VonHerzen.

Approximately 49 million people face hunger every day in the United States, including almost 16 million children.

The National Association of Letter Carriers and USPS sponsor Stamp Out Hunger, which has collected more than 1 billion pounds of food since it began two decades ago.

Employees, who often spend weeks preparing for the annual drive, say it’s a rewarding experience.

Said Denver Letter Carrier Jeff Frey: “It’s neighbor helping neighbor.”