Letter carriers across Iowa will be lugging much more than their usual load of magazines, bills and correspondence in their mail bags Saturday. They’ll also be picking up cans, bags and boxes of food which Iowans will be donating as part of the annual Stamp Out Hunger event.

Mark Dreusch, a letter carrier from Webster City, says the U.S. Postal Service program is in its 19th year and continues to grow. “Last year, we collected over 77-million pounds of food and we’re hoping to collect even more this year,” Dreusch says. “Unfortunately, as we all know, the need is as great as ever.”

Dreusch says there are reports from food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters across Iowa and nationwide that are seeing a big influx in people needing their services. He says donating is simple. “We’re asking people to leave non-perishable food donations by their mail box and city and rural letter carriers will be picking those up,” he says.

The food will go a long ways toward helping people out who are down on their luck, he says, given the iffy economy and so many layoffs.

“Around the country, the nation’s food banks are feeding one million more Americans each week than they did five years ago,” Dreusch says.

“It’s the greatest need since the Great Depression of the 1930s.” At the end of the day Saturday, the letter carriers will deliver the food collected to their respective community food banks. You may also drop off your food items at your post office today.

Learn more about the campaign at: “www.helpstampouthunger.com“.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City