Growing and strengthening west Michigan's middle class
GRAND RAPIDS May 16, 2016– This year’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive lived up to its name. On Saturday, letter carriers collected more than 108,000 pounds of food donated by Grand Rapids residents. The food was given to Feeding America West Michigan.
That was a significant increase from last year, when the drive brought in just over 60,000 pounds of food. More donations are expected to trickle in throughout the week as carriers gather up any leftover donations along their routes.
“When it’s all said and done, we could very easily be looking at double what we took in last year,” said Feeding America West Michigan CEO Ken Estelle. “I don’t ever remember seeing such a big jump from one year to another.”
The increase came in spite of the day’s wild weather, with rain, snow and hail lashing carriers and food bank volunteers as they collected donations. Estelle credits the success to strong media coverage and support from Meijer, which provided paper collection bags to more than half the city.
“We got a taste of just about every season Michigan has to offer on Saturday, but that didn’t stop the carriers or our volunteers and staff from doing a great job,” Estelle said.
Feeding America West Michigan will distribute the food to people in need through its network of hunger-relief agencies in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.
While Stamp Out Hunger’s national total is still being tallied, last year’s drive secured approximately 71 million pounds of food for hunger-relief organizations across the country.
Local sponsors include the Kent-Ionia Labor Council, Fox 17, Meijer, Heart of West Michigan United Way and the National Association of Letter Carriers.
Local results by post office
Northwest/Walker Ave: 23,051 pounds
East Paris: 22,559 pounds
Northeast/Three Mile Road: 20,262 pounds
Wyoming: 13,428 pounds
Main/Grand River Carrier Annex: 13,387 pounds
Eastown: 8,667 pounds
Kentwood: 6,911 pounds
Total: 108,265 pounds
About Feeding America West Michigan. Serving local families in need since 1981, Feeding America West Michigan reclaims safe surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. We distribute that food through a network of more than 1,100 food pantries, youth programs, and other hunger-relief agencies in 40 counties from the Indiana border through the Upper Peninsula. Each year, an estimated 492,100 people receive food from Feeding America West Michigan.
If you would like to help the Kent-Ionia Labor Council feed local families year round, please donate to the Labor Heritage Society of West Michigan, where one of our programs is a monthly food truck purchased through Feeding America West Michigan.