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Food drive doubles last year's local haul

By Blair Yankey - byankey@perutribune.com

It was called the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive – and you might just say that Miami County delivered.

Organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers, United States Postal Service and locally by United Way of Miami County, more than 14,000 pounds of food was collected on Saturday this year.

That’s twice what was gathered county-wide during the same event in 2016, according to UWMC’s Executive Director Debi Wallick.

“This year’s food drive was by far our best ever,” said Wallick. “I think we marketed the event a lot more this year, and also, the letter carriers were very engaged with the community.”

The local effort was part of a national program, which took place in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America on May 13. Residents were asked to set nonperishable food items in bags on or beside their mailboxes for postal workers to collect.

The food donated locally will go to fill shelves at Miami County Helping Hands, the Miami Nation of Indians Food Bank and Salvation Army for distribution to people in need, she said.

Since the first event in 1993, the letter carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has collected more than 1.5 billion pounds of food. This year’s results brought the total to more than 20,929 pounds of food collected since United Way of Miami County began its partnership with the drive, Wallick said.

“Special thanks to Miami County Letter Carriers, Peru Post Office and staff, and United Way of Miami County volunteers for another successful food drive,” Wallick said. “We also want to thank all the residents in Miami County for supporting such a worthwhile event. Because of them, all the food pantries are going to be able to disburse all the food ... some of the pantries were getting a little low, and this drive is going to help all those in need.”