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Letter carriers' food drive set for Saturday

Nonperishable food items that are collected by local letter carriers on Saturday, May 14, will help restock shelves at the Food Pantry for Woodford County. The "Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive" is the nation's largest one-day food drive and the second-largest annual food drive in Woodford County. "And it comes at a good time of the year," said Sharon Hardin, executive director of the Food Pantry for Woodford County. She said nonperishable food items donated by local residents during Thanksgiving and Christmastime food drives are beginning to be depleted. Canned potatoes and beans, including great northern and pinto beans, are among the food items that "we cannot keep in stock," said Hardin. She said canned fruit and juice as well as cereal and crackers are other items always needed at the Food Pantry for Woodford County. Anyone wanting to donate nonperishable food items to the local food pantry is asked to place those donated items in grocery bags and/or boxes next to their mailbox - not inside their mailboxes - so they are visible to letter carriers, said Thad Baker, who coordinates the local Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive for the National Association of Letter Carriers. Residents of Midway may drop off nonperishable food item donations in the lobby of the Midway Post Office, Baker said. For safety reasons, he said no food items in glass jars or containers are accepted during the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Local church youth groups and Boy Scouts will help letter carriers collect the donated food items, which Hardin said gives food pantry volunteers enough time on Saturday to sort the donated food items so that work doesn't continue into Monday, a normal business day for the Food Pantry of Woodford County. Asked why he continues to coordinate the local Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, Baker said, "I don't want to see anybody go hungry." The Food Pantry of Woodford County has provided emergency assistance to an average of 107 clients a month so far this year, according to Hardin. She said among those clients are many new residents who are first-time visitors - about 25 a month. "And that's good. Even though they are new residents to the county, someone is helping them find us so that we can help them," said Hardin.

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