Annual Postal Food Drive makes a difference for Lakeshore food pantries

If you were among the thousands of families who took part in the annual Postal Food Drive, your effort made a big difference in helping those in need along the Lakeshore. 

Area families collectively donated 47,549 pounds of food to support local hunger relief. The annual Postal Food Drive is part of the National Association of Letter Carriers’ “Stamp Out Hunger” campaign, which collects tens of thousands of pounds of food each year to supply local food assistance efforts.

Distributed to Community Action House (CAH), Gateway Mission, Resilience: Advocates for Ending Violence, and Salvation Army of Holland, food donations allow these groups to support the 1 in 9 families in Ottawa County who struggle to meet basic needs.

More than 80 volunteers took part in the annual food drive.

‘Outpouring of support’

More than 80 volunteers gathered at the Hope College DeVos Fieldhouse parking lot on May 21, working as drivers and food sorters from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to help collect and process donated food. As the largest food drive for these organizations each year, collected items go a long way to help local agencies provide food throughout the year.

“This was my first year being part of the Postal Food Drive, and it was so powerful to see in person. It was incredible to witness the outpouring of support from the community — the number of people who showed up as volunteers, and who donated food. There’s nothing else quite like it, where the community comes together for one common goal,” says Allie Egrin, development manager at Community Action House.

The locally founded, locally funded nonprofit provides families and individuals with food, clothing, shelter, and the opportunity to build necessary skills to achieve a stable and prosperous life. Founded in 1969, CAH serves communities in Ottawa and Allegan counties from a base in Holland, offering several programs, including their Food Club, Community Kitchen, Resource Navigation, Financial Wellness & Homeownership, and Homeless Outreach efforts. 

“During a time of year that’s slower for donation drives, Postal Food Drive items help sustain our services through the spring and summer, so our guests can get the food they need,” Egrin says.

Area families collectively donated 47,549 pounds of food to support local hunger relief.

Donations still being accepted

While the event is over, food donations are still being accepted at CAH. If you would like to donate, food items can be taken to 739 Paw Paw Drive, Holland. The drive accepts non-perishable food items.
 
Some recommended items include masa, coconut milk, curry pastes and spices, chickpeas, dried chili peppers, flour, unsalted nuts, jasmine rice, canned soup, beans and chili, healthy cooking oil, nutritional shakes, and lentils and pinto beans.

Financial donations, which will support food purchases at each of the four organizations, can be made online at communityactionhouse.org/stampouthunger.

 

Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.