‘Stamp out Hunger’ food drive collects 20 tons for Help Warehouse

Longview and Kelso postal carriers collected 41,570 pounds of dry goods residents stacked beside mailboxes during Saturday’s National Association of Letter Carriers food drive.

The food goes to the Help Warehouse food bank run by Lower Columbia Community Action Program.

Although the tally was down 13 percent from the 47,580 pounds collected in 2011, Help Warehouse program manager Lois Shelton was jubilant Saturday evening.

“Considering this economy, it was an awesome day,” she said.

Kelso collected 10,200 pounds of food, just shy of last year’s total of 10,580 pounds. Longview collected 31,370 pounds, a dip from the 37,000 pounds collected in 2011, according to Alan Rose, CAP’s community relations and development director.

“This will keep our food banks going well into summer,” Shelton said.

Results from the food drives in Castle Rock, Kalama and Woodland were not available. Food collected in those communities is delivered directly to their local food banks.

The “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive once again was organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers Locals 2214 and 2103. It’s the second-largest communitywide food drive of the year, after Walk n’ Knock in early December.

Volunteers from Help Warehouse, Three Rivers Christian School, AmeriCorps, Fibre Federal Credit Union, JH Kelly and the 1414 Club unloaded food from mail trucks and boxed up food in the warehouse basement. Dominos, Bruno’s Pizza and the Masthead Restaurant donated food for the volunteers.

Since 1982, Help Warehouse has been the food collection and distribution center for the Cowlitz and Wahkiakum food banks. Last year, Help Warehouse distributed more than 1.7 million pounds of food.

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