Each year the United States Postal Service collects food that will benefit local food shelves and food banks. This is a national effort, but all food collected in Minnesota - stays in Minnesota. Donating is as easy as walking to your mailbox!

A couple of months back, Joyce from the post office contacted me asking for us to help get the word out about their food drive. Of course we jumped on board to help raise awareness for a desperate need in our area.

People don't think about our neighbors going hungry during the summer, I mean people are only hungry at Thanksgiving right? Wrong. As the school year draws to an end, the food banks are strapped to feed the children that have been relying on school food programs throughout the year. Now they don't have access to those programs but still need to eat. That's where we come in.

Over the next couple of weeks, you'll get a Stamp Out Hunger bag in your mailbox. Take that bag, fill it with non-perishable food items and then return it to your mailbox on May 12. Yes, we know that is the fishing opener and you might not be home. Well, Minnesota didn't pick the date of the food drive, it is across the country but we have a solution. You can leave your food on May 11 or even May 14 and your carrier will make sure it comes back to your local office and get to your local food shelf.

Each area's food shelves will vary based upon need in your area. We promise all food will stay local to your area. The areas surrounding St. Cloud will be donated to the Catholic Charities Food Shelf and the Salvation Army Food Shelf.

The biggest thing to remember is that you could be looking at someone that's hungry and would never know it. Hunger is not something you can see - but you sure can feel it. Let's make sure our local kids don't go hungry this summer. Use your bags and together we will Stamp Out Hunger this summer in Central Minnesota!

We'd like to say a special thanks to Coborn's for their generous donation of the bags that will be going into your mailbox. Also thank you to Red's Transfer who will be providing trucks to haul the food into the food banks. Most of all, we'd like to thank our Letter Carriers and the USPS for going the extra mile to collect the food for our food shelves.

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