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Maui Mail Carriers Seek Help to “Stamp Out Hunger”

May 11, 2016, 2:09 PM HST (Updated May 11, 2016, 2:09 PM) · 0 Comments
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United States Post Office, Wailuku, Hawaiʻi. Photo by Wendy Osher.

United States Post Office, Wailuku, Hawaiʻi. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Mail carriers on Maui will be collecting food donations this Saturday, May 14th as part of the 24th Annual National Association of Letter Carriers’ “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive.

More than 175,000 mail carriers across the nation will participate in the annual campaign, which is considered the nation’s largest one-day effort to combat hunger.

Last year, more than 45,000 pounds of food was collected on Maui; the Wailuku Post Office led the way on the Valley Isle with 11,062 pounds of food collected.

Statewide, Hawaiʻi carriers collected more than 533,000 pounds or 266 tons of food.  Nationwide, almost 70 million pounds of food were collected last year; more than 1.4 billion pounds of food has been collected during the campaign’s first 23 years.

Residents are urged to place non-perishable food items next to their mailbox for pickup on May 14 before their usual mail pickup time. The mail carriers will then transport the donations back to their Post Offices where postal employees and volunteers will sort the food and deliver it to their nearest community food banks. Post Offices without residential delivery will be collecting items during the days leading up to May 14.

Post cards and plastic food donation bags promoting the food drive have been delivered to homes across Hawaiʻi as a reminder to participate in the drive. In addition, food drive reminder fliers will be distributed to students at more than 400 public, private and charter schools across the state.

The Hawaiʻi Foodbank, through its network of island food banks and their local food pantries and meal programs, provides food assistance to more than 123,000 households statewide. Approximately 287,000 Hawaiʻi residents, including 47,894 keiki and more than 46,000 kupuna, receive such assistance.

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“The NALC Food Drive is a big help because it always results in a lot of canned protein items, which are our ‘Most Wanted’ items.” said Stan Markle, Hawaiʻi Foodbank Director of Product Donations. Markle listed the following as the most desired food donations: Canned meats or tuna, canned meals such as chili, stew or spaghetti, canned soups, and canned fruits and vegetables.

“Last year we collected more than 266 tons of food in our statewide food drive,” said Adele Yoshikawa, Pearl City Carrier and NALC Food Drive Spokesperson. “Our goal in Hawaiʻi is to top last year’s totals, but we’ll be happy to collect any amount of food. We ask that our customers, friends and families help us ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ by supporting this drive.

“This annual food drive demonstrates how the Postal Service goes beyond just delivering the mail to helping those in our communities who are less fortunate.”

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