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Stamp Out Hunger: How Utahns can help letter carriers' nationwide food drive Saturday morning

Utahns can join in to help Stamp Out Hunger as part of a nationwide drive on Saturday. Letter carriers are hosting the drive to benefit the Utah Food Bank. (Aubrey Shafer, KSL-TV)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — During the pandemic, many Utah families struggled to put food on the table, and the demand has not diminished.

Saturday, all Utahns can join in to help Stamp Out Hunger as part of a nationwide food drive. Letter carriers are hosting the drive to benefit the Utah Food Bank.

You should have received a blue, plastic Stamp Out Hunger bag in the mail. If not, any bag will do. Put in nonperishable food items, and the letter carriers will take it from there.

"The great thing about this type of drive is that we love to see is variety," said Ginette Bott, president and CEO of the Utah Food Bank.

The Stamp Out Hunger food drive was canceled each of the last two years due to COVID-19. During that time, demand from families in need nearly doubled. The Utah Food Bank went from an annual distribution of 43 million pounds of food to 70 million pounds, and the demand goes on.

"We really have not had any relief," Bott said.

As people returned to their regular routines, she had hoped the demand would slow.

"But then, inflation started to impact families. So, the same families that were struggling through the pandemic are now challenged again, and our numbers are not coming down," she said.

Thirteen percent of our state's population is struggling with food insecurity, right now, and one in seven are children.

"So, that problem is still here, and still very, very prominent, and we still need everyone's help," the food bank president said.

Stamp Out Hunger has been hosted each year, for 30 years, by the National Association of Letter Carriers.

"In addition to delivering your mail they will be picking up your donation and be bringing it back to food banks and pantries across the country," Bott said.

The Utah Food Bank helps stock more than 200 pantries statewide. So, share what you can, and leave it by your mailbox tomorrow before 9 a.m. If you see your letter carrier, give them a big thanks.

The food bank always needs protein: canned meat, canned beans and peanut butter always help, and mac and cheese is a favorite for kids.

"Anything your family enjoys, another family will enjoy just as much," Bott said.

The Utah Food Bank is still scrambling to find 30 volunteers to help at two different post offices in Salt Lake County on Saturday. If you can help out from 1-5 p.m., give them a call at 801-978-2452.

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Jed Boal

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