Community

Letter Carriers’ Food Drive set for May 10

Volunteers Haley Ries, left, and Sydney Vital sorted boxes of donated food at the Marysville Post Office during last year
Volunteers Haley Ries, left, and Sydney Vital sorted boxes of donated food at the Marysville Post Office during last year's Letter Carriers' Food Drive.
— image credit: File photo.

SMOKEY POINT — The Marysville, Arlington and Smokey Point post offices are gearing up for their annual Letter Carriers’ “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive on Saturday, May 10, to benefit the Marysville and Arlington community food banks.

Residents of Marysville, Arlington and Smokey Point should be on the lookout for yellow bags that will be delivered to their mailboxes during the week of May 5, no later than May 10.

Those area residents are being asked to place their non-perishable food items in those bags for mail carriers to pick up on May 10, with the Marysville Post Office collecting for the Marysville Community Food Bank, and the Arlington and Smokey Point post offices collecting for the Arlington Community Food Bank.

“This food drive is the single most important food drive of the year,” said Dell Deierling, director of the Marysville Community Food Bank. “The Food Bank relies on this food to get through the summer, when kids are at home and family needs are high.”

Deierling has seen the number of families needing assistance from the Marysville Community Food Bank increase 5 percent over this time last year.

“We’re hoping for this food drive to get strong community support, to stock up our shelves and prepare us for a busy summer,” Deierling said.

Jerrie Inman, a member of the Arlington Community Food Bank Board of Directors, deemed the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive the largest food drive of the year for her food bank.

“The food we receive during the holiday season just barely gets us to this food drive,” Inman said. “The food we receive in this food drive will hopefully get us through to the holidays.”

While most pickups will be conducted by mail carriers, Inman assured donors that other vehicles which bear signs promoting the Letters Carriers’ Food Drive are also authorized to retrieve those yellow collection bags.

“We’ve had people call us up worried about it, but it’s okay,” Inman laughed.

“This is an event that our volunteers look forward to every year,” said Dennis G. Smith, president and CEO of the United Way of Snohomish County. “It’s a fun, tangible way to give back to the community.”

Volunteers can learn more and sign up at http://t.uwsc.org/fooddrivevolunteer.

“One in seven people in Snohomish County is food insecure, which makes this annual food drive more important than ever,” said Alex Heart, chief program officer for Volunteers of America Western Washington.

Last year, 277,263 pounds of food were collected as part of this event, accounting for half of all food received by Snohomish County food banks for the entire year. Snohomish County food banks rely heavily on the canned goods, dry foods such as pasta and cereal, and other non-perishable items that make up the bulk of food donations.

“This is the 22nd year of the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive, and we’re honored to be part of such an important cause, year after year,” said Bob James, president of the Snohomish County Association of Letter Carriers. “Our letter carriers love being able to give back to the community and help neighbors in need.”

Although the food drive is a national event, in Snohomish County it’s organized by National Association of Letter Carriers Local 791, Volunteers of America Western Washington, United Way of Snohomish County and the Snohomish County Labor Council.

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