Stamp Out Hunger has record setting year; Over 21K pounds collected in Austin

Published 7:44 am Thursday, May 16, 2019

The residents of Austin broke their old record this past weekend during the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) 26th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive in Austin.

According to event organizer Bob Rosel, letter carriers and volunteers collected 21,176 pounds of food during the event, not counting donations collected after Saturday. This is a roughly 4,000 pound increase from last year and tops Austin’s old record of 19,000 pounds set in 2017.

The collected food will be donated to the Salvation Army food pantry.

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“Thank you to all the people who donated, the volunteers who helped us, and the Salvation Army,” Rosel said. “I know the shelves at the Salvation Army were running low and I know they will find this food very helpful.”

The total amount represents both food poundage and monetary donations collected. Rosel said a formula is applied to determine the ratio of how many pounds of food a monetary donation equals.

As always, Austin competed with Albert Lea to see who raised the most, with a traveling trophy (currently in Austin) and bragging rights on the line. This year, Albert Lea collected over 19,000 pounds, meaning the trophy gets to stay in Austin.

“It was again close, like it always is, but we were able to edge them out,” Rosel said. “I believe this is the first time we’ve beaten Albert Lea two years in a row. The Albert Lea community is very generous.”

Rosel said the food will prove beneficial to low income individuals, particularly those with children who are not enrolled in a school lunch program over the summer.

“This food will be very useful all summer long and we’re very grateful for all those who donated,” he said.