• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Residents can help ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ on May 13

Letter carriers in the community will again be collecting donated nonperishable food items during the 25th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, May 13. The second-largest annual food drive in Woodford County, Stamp Out Hunger will replenish the inventory at the Food Pantry for Woodford County as donations from food drives held last October, November and December begin to dwindle. “This comes in at a critical time,” said food pantry volunteer and board President Bill Phelps. “…It just replenishes (our inventory) for the summer.” Phelps applauded local mail carriers for their willingness to collect food donated by residents in the community, who are being asked to place nonperishable food items in grocery bags and/or boxes next to their mailboxes so they are visible to letter carriers. No food items in glass jars or containers are accepted for safety reasons. Residents of Midway may again drop off food donations in the lobby of the Midway Post Office, according to Thad Baker, who coordinates the local Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Letter carriers in the community have been participating in Stamp Out Hunger since the food drive was first organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) in 1991, and Baker said families continue to need food. “It’s a way to give back to the community,” he said. A van from the Food Pantry for Woodford County will pick up nonperishable food donations at the Versailles Post Office before those items are sorted by volunteers at the food pantry, “and, hopefully (we’ll) have that (sorting of the food) all done by Saturday afternoon,” Phelps said. He said local food drives during the months of October, November and December generated over 30,000 pounds of nonperishable food item donations. “That’s a lot,” he said. When asked what residents are being asked to donate during Stamp Out Hunger, Phelps said, “Any canned goods would be great … We’re just pleased for anything people are able to donate…” Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott said the community’s support of Stamp Out Hunger “reaffirms to us (as local leaders) how generous and passionate our population is (about helping others), and (the ongoing dedication of) our volunteers, which are so many.” One example of the community’s generosity and willingness to help their neighbors, according to Woodford County Judge-executive John Coyle, are the people and businesses that came together to support a volunteer-led project to open a new food pantry building in February 2015. “They raised the money … enough to produce that building that’s out there. And it’s top-notch … from the top of the flagpole down to all the materials put in that building,” Coyle said. The Food Pantry for Woodford County and its volunteers served 285 families in January, February and March of this year, according to the nonprofit’s quarterly report. Over the last 24 national food drives, letter carriers have collected more than 1.5 billion pounds of food to feed the hungry in communities across the country, according to the NALC website.

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