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Join in local postal carriers' efforts to Stamp out Hunger



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This Saturday the Lake Orion Post Office is asking Lake Orion and Orion Township residents to leave non-perishable foods in bags by their mailboxes for the national charity event to help "Stamp out hunger." Meg Peters. (click for larger version)
May 07, 2014 - By Meg Peters

Review Staff Writer

Lake Orion and Oxford postal carriers collected 28,000 pounds of non-perishable food items last year, and hope to find more at mailboxes this year for the Stamp Out Hunger charity event.

Lake Orion residents donated more than 16,000 lbs.

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"We broke all records, it was the most we've ever collected for the charity," Pam Wilson, 2013 coordinator, said.

The 22nd annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, a food drive organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NACL), is this Saturday, May 10, and an opportunity for Lake Orion residents to donate non-perishable food for a worthy cause.

Simply leave a non-perishable food item in a bag by the mailbox this Saturday.

Postal carriers will deliver all donations to the Oxford/Orion FISH food pantry for local residents, and volunteers are still needed.

If you would like to lend a hand, please email oxfordorionfish@gmail.com or call 248-628-3933, Option 1 to leave a message.

Volunteers are needed to sort and stock food on May 10, from noon to 5 p.m., and May 17 and May 18 from noon to 5 p.m. FISH volunteers will not be sorting on Mother's Day, as they have done in the past.

"There are still many people who need help," Wilson said. "Single mothers pulling three jobs just to put food on the table, or seniors that pick between food or medicine every month. The have-nots still have-not."

One out of six Americans, or 49 million people, are unsure when their next meal is: 16 million are children and nearly 5 million are seniors over the age of 60 who are food insecure according to the NACL press release.

In 2013 71 million pounds of food items fed 30 million people across the United States distributed from local food banks.

Oxford/Orion FISH is located at 487 First Street in Oxford and provides groceries to people in need in Lake Orion, Oxford, Addison and Oakland Township.

"We generate a lot of their food that they have for the entire year, so it's very important for us to do that," LO Postmaster Joanna Zimmerman said.

Homeowners can leave non-perishable food items in their mailboxes, in sturdy bags beside mailboxes, or on the doorsteps of their front doors. If residents cannot physically carry goods to the mailbox they can leave a note at the mailbox saying they have food at their front doors, and the letter carrier will retrieve it.

Canned vegetables, fruits, soups, fish and meat are encouraged, as well as boxed cereals, pasta and rice. Paper products and laundry soap are also always a need. Even just one can or box is appreciated.

Donations can also be made to FISH at their website http://www.oxfordorionfish.org via Paypal.

For 22 years the NACL has conducted the food drive strategically on Mother's Day weekend.

"This is the biggest food drive of the year and we really depend on it to get us through the spring and summer months," Julie Howald said, FISH pantry coordinator.

Summer time is also difficult for many families, single parents, and especially children, Wilson said. Many children qualify for the free and assisted meal programs at school, and come summer, those meals stop.

The community pulled through big time last year, she added.

"Last year was so beyond us. We had carriers that were so full that they had to call for assistance because they literally couldn't move in the truck and still had half their route left," she said.

The Lake Orion post office would like to thank Boy Scout Troop 366 for their continued volunteering along with students from Pro Martial Arts in Lake Orion, Green Light Graphics who help print signs, Kroger's for joining in the effort, and Hungry Howie's that is donating pizza to feed volunteers.

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