Area letter carriers will be collecting donations for the Preston Community Food Pantry on tomorrow, May 11. People may participate simply by leaving non-perishable food donations in a bag next to their mailbox prior to mail that day.

            This is the 27th year for the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, which has collected more than 1.6 billion pounds of food since its inception. Last year alone 71.6 million pounds of non-perishable food was donated nationwide – nearly 300,000 pounds in the Gem State.

            In Preston, 4,000 pounds of food was gathered in 2018. This year the goal is to beat that amount, said David Smith, new mail supervisor in the Preston Post Office.

            The food drive’s timing is crucial. Food banks and pantries often receive the majority of their donations during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need.

            While all non-perishable donations are welcome, foods that are high in protein such as canned tuna, salmon, beans and peanut butter are most needed. Canned fruits and vegetables, whole grain, low sugar cereals, macaroni and cheese dinners and 100% fruit juice also top the list of most needed items. For additional information about this year’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, visit stampouthungerfooddrive.us

            WHAT TO GIVE: Most-wanted foods include:

Canned meats (tuna, chicken, salmon)

Canned and boxed meals (soup, chili, stew, macaroni and cheese)

Canned or dried beans and peas (black, pinto, lentils)

Pasta, rice cereal

Canned fruits

100% fruit juice (canned, plastic or boxed)

Canned vegetables

Cooking oil

Boxed cooking mixes (pancake, breads) 

            WHAT NOT TO GIVE:

Rusty or unlabeled cans

Glass containers.

Perishable items. 

Homemade items. 

Expired items

Non-commercial canned or packaged items

Alcoholic beverages or mixes or soda

Open or used items

            The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is the largest one-day food drive in the nation with more than 10,000 cities and towns across America participating.