Saturday morning as mail carriers pick up outgoing letters, they'll also be looking for grocery bags as thousands participate in the 20th Annual National Association of Letter Carriers “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.
In Farmington, the drive benefits the Farmington Food Pantry and according to Cristina Ramsay, food pantry vice-chair, it brings in anywhere from 2,500 to 5,000 pounds of food. The drive is second only to the Boy Scout drive earlier in the year and plays a critical role in keeping the food pantry shelves stocked during the summer.
"We rely on this huge event to keep our shelves stocked during the lean summer months," Ramsay said by email. "While the town of Farmington is beyond generous, we still find ourselves always working to keep our pantry shelves stocked. The summer is particularly difficult on the families we serve, since the children are no longer in school benefiting from free breakfast and lunch programs; the burden falls on the families."
To participate, simply place nonperishable food items in a bag and put the bag near your mailbox on Saturday morning before your mail is delivered. Your letter carrier will collect the food and bring it directly to the Farmington Food Pantry, where it will be given to local families in need.
Postcards distributed to residents advise donating items like canned meats, fish, soup, juice, vegetables, pastat, cereal and rice.
"It's a great day where we have volunteers at the Farmington Food Pantry all day, receiving mail bins full of food generously donated by Farmington residents and delivered right off the postal trucks!" Ramsay said.