Food pantries relying on Stamp Out Hunger event

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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Stamp Out Hunger, the nation's largest one day food drive is Saturday, May 11th. Mail carriers across our area are hoping to collect hundreds of thousands of pounds of food for those in need.

Fresh produce and other foods are distributed at the St. Joseph Food Program in Menasha (WBAY photo)

The need at food pantries across our area continues to be great.

According to Karen Ziemke with St. Joseph Food Program, "Right here in the four walls of St. Joe's we are right around 650 to 700 families a week, so if you think about how many people are in your family that's a lot of individuals."

That's why Saturday's Stamp Out Hunger event, where letter carriers collect donations at homes where they deliver the mail, is so important.

Scott Schefe, also from St. Joseph Food Program, adds, "We just had the holidays and all that, so we've kind of filled up the warehouse and got us through these first months, and now we depend on this one to really get us through all of the summer typically until the Boy Scout drive in the fall."

But the Boy Scouts have opted out of this fall's Scouting for Food event, so letter carriers and food pantries are hoping the community generously donates additional non-perishable food items that can be stretched a little big longer this year.

Schefe says, "If you do do one in the fall and you think, hey, we did one in the spring, one in the fall, there won't be one in the fall, so put a little bit more. It doesn't have to be one bag. If you want to fill up a couple we'll take that. And you can assure that all of the items coming in and what we're doing is really helping out the people in our community."

And, after collecting more than 300,000 pounds of food in the region last year, letter carriers know the generosity of Northeast Wisconsin can make an even bigger difference in 2019.

"We hope that we can do better this year. Let's challenge the communities to try and do a little bit more. I think we are a very generous area. We always like to give and I think we are an amazing community. We pull together, and why not," says USPS letter carrier Nicole Schreck.

If you can't find your Stamp Our Hunger bag or you didn't get one, any bag will do. Letter carriers just ask that you have it out first thing Saturday morning.

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