Volunteers at the Clayton post office sort donated items collected during the Stamp Out Hunger food drive / Photo by Ryan Farmer
If you walked through the Volunteer Center at the St. Louis Area Foodbank today, you’d see boxes flying through the air and cans sliding across metal tables.
Volunteers are busily sorting every type of food imaginable, from macaroni and cheese to grape juice.
It’s a flurry of activity.
This buzz of excitement is the midway stage for the food collected last Saturday, May 12, 2012 during the national Stamp Out Hunger food drive.
Soon, the very food being sorted at the Foodbank today will be put into the hands of families in need, right here in the bi-state region.
These families rely on the food collected at major food drives like Stamp Out Hunger, also known as the Letter Carrier food drive.
Stamp Out Hunger, now in its’ 20th year, required a massive coordination of volunteers, staff and donors. It’s the collaboration of hundreds of individuals that make these major food drives a success, year after year.
And in the St. Louis region, we couldn’t be more proud of the generous and enthusiastic people who came together to collect, sort and deliver the food.
So far, the results are astounding – our preliminary results show 196,175 pounds of food collected in St. Louis city and county alone!
At many of the St. Louis Area Foodbank’s hub sites – post offices where Foodbank staff and volunteers are stationed to sort food as it comes in – we saw some great moments of generosity.
At the Affton Post Office, two volunteers drove all the way from Collinsville, Ill. These amazing volunteers served as route workers, meaning they used their own cars to follow the letter carriers along their routes in Affton to help pick up food.
“I felt that was going above and beyond,” says Casey Milton, product donations coordinator for the St. Louis Area Foodbank. “They said, ‘we wanted to do something.’ Since there was nothing closer to home they chose Affton.”
At the South County Post Office, several letter carriers returned from their routes and jumped in to volunteer.
“Even though they put in extra time and effort collecting and loading heavy bags of canned goods along their routes, they still volunteered their time afterwards to helping us sort the food,” says Bethany Prange, Foodbank communications coordinator. “That showed commitment to the cause.”
Staff and volunteers from Foodbank partner agencies, which include food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens throughout the bi-state region, also volunteered their Saturday to sorting hundreds of cans and boxes of food!
Without the hard work of each individual who contributed to the effort, Stamp Out Hunger would not be the successful food drive it remains year after year.
Even more, this food drive could not exist without the generosity of residents who faithfully put out their donations for the letter carriers to collect.
To all of you, we say thank you!