Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive returns Saturday

May 8—SHARON — Local post offices and the Mercer County Food Bank are partnering for this year's annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, which will return this weekend.

The food drive, a country-wide effort by the National Association of Letter Carriers, asks residents to leave a donation of non-perishable food items next to their mailbox Saturday.

The food will be collected by letter carriers as they deliver mail along their postal routes, according to a press release.

The food collected through the Sharon, Hermitage and Mercer post offices will directly benefit the Mercer County Food Bank and the residents it serves through its network of more than 30 agencies throughout the county.

"Letter carriers are a part of every neighborhood in the nation, and we see the growing need for food assistance in our communities," NALC President Fredric Rolando said in the release.

"We are grateful to the NALC for their commitment to feeding our neighbors and appreciate being part of the food drive locally," Mercer County Food Bank Executive Director Rebecca Page said in the release.

"The food collected will help ensure that more than 11,000 people a month who rely on food from the Mercer County Food Bank and our network of member agencies in Mercer County are fed."

Mercer County Food Bank Development Director Alexis Spence-Locke said food bank officials continue to see an increase in the number of residents struggling with food security.

Last year was the food bank's biggest so far in terms of food distribution, with 2.6 million pounds of food distributed.

The Mercer County Food Bank already looks set to surpass that previous record, with more than one million pounds of food distributed so far this year, Spence-Locke said.

"Right now, we're 25 percent higher in terms of need than we were at this time last year," Spence-Locke said.

The increased need to collect and donate more food makes this year's Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive especially important, since last year's drive collected about 4,000 pounds of food in one day.

Spence-Locke said the food bank and the U.S. Postal Service have enjoyed an "amazing" relationship over the years, and that a representative from the Postal Service always contacts the food bank each year about organizing the food drive.

Spence-Locke also said food bank officials wanted to thank the many postal workers helping address the need for food assistance, since the food drive means those letter carriers will have to bear the weight of any food donations on top of the letters and packages they're already delivering.

"This is a very heavy lift for those people, but the impact they make in the community is huge," Spence-Locke said of the postal workers.

For those looking to support the Mercer County Food Bank or those who may need food assistance themselves, more information can be found at

The Mercer County Food Bank can also be followed on Facebook or Instagram at @mercercountyfoodbank, or on Twitter at @mercerfoodbank.

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