Stamping out hunger: Food drive set for weekend

Published 1:33 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Saturday, postal workers will do some extra heavy lifting on their appointed rounds.

Throughout the country, letter carriers will collect donated food for the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

In Clark County, all donations will go to Clark County Community Services to distribute to its clients.

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According to the U.S. Postal Service, Stamp Out Hunger is the largest one-day food drive in the country. In the last 25 years, Stamp Out Hunger collected more than one billion pounds of food.

In 2017, CCCS ended up with about 6,800 pounds of usable food from the drive.

“Last year I think we received just over 7,500 pounds,” CCCS Director Debbie Fatkin said. “Of that, about 800 pounds was expired or bad.”

Postal customers can leave their donations of canned or boxed food in their mailbox prior to their regular delivery Saturday. The carrier will then deliver the food to drop-off sites to be processed.

“Our letter carriers take great pride in collecting donated food items, knowing they are helping those in need,” Winchester Postmaster Nathan Gabbard said in a statement. “The National Association of Letter Carriers, National Rural Letter Carriers Association, and the United States Postal Service look forward to giving back to the people of Winchester and Clark County.”

Fatkin suggested leaving canned foods because they won’t be damaged by weather as boxed foods can.

Community Services usually distributes about 3,500 pounds of food monthly to more than 1,100 families, she said.

Saturday’s donations can last at least a month and sometimes more.

“I feel like last year we got an awful lot of soup,” she said. “We can make that spread out for about two months.”

Fatkin is looking for volunteers to help at Community Services, 30 Taylor Ave., from 11 a.m. to about 6 p.m. after the last mail truck rolls in.

“It’s sorting, checking expiration dates and unloading mail trucks,” Fatkins said. “I’ll take families, Sunday school classes, teams, individuals … I don’t care. We never have enough because there’s that much to do.”

The donations often fall into two categories: regular items and bonus items, she said. Regular items include soup, canned fruits or vegetables and peanut butter. Bonus items can include canned chili, coconut milk and canned pasta. One year someone donated canned octopus, she said.

Donations should be unopened and unexpired.

“If we just get canned goods, that will be great,” she said.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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