Stamp Out Hunger food drive coming back May 13

Published 6:00 pm Friday, May 5, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

 The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and National Rural Letter Carriers  Association (NRLCA) of Austin have announced it’s 30th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive set for May 13. 

The drive will be held in conjunction with the 31st national carrier food drive conducted each year the second Saturday in May. Once again, donated food will be collected after holding a money donation-only drive the past three years because of COVID-19 concerns. Carriers will be delivering bags donated by Jim’s Market Place the week of the food drive. 

In the past 31 years, letter carriers nationally have collected 1.82 billion pounds of food to help  feed the hungry. The two most vulnerable groups in America and Mower County for food issues are  children and the elderly. Those struggling to make ends meet tend to buy the cheapest least healthy  food to stretch their income to have enough money to pay other bills; making healthy donations to  food shelves vitally important. 

Email newsletter signup

Lori Espe, food shelf director Austin Salvation Army, said the items most needed include  canned beans (baked, kidney, chili and pinto), canned fruits and vegetables, canned tuna and chicken,  peanut butter, mac and cheese.  

Residents of Austin and the surrounding area are asked to place nonperishable food items in bags near their mailboxes for a carrier or volunteer to pick up. Letter carriers will then get the food to the local food shelf. In Austin, it’s the Salvation Army. 

To ensure all food donated is collected, residents are asked to have their food out at the mailbox by 9 a.m. However, if that is inconvenient or if they forget, food will be collected whenever they get it out, including Friday or Monday. 

This is a rain or shine event. Donations can also be left at the Salvation Army or the Post Office. Monetary gifts are accepted but checks should be made out to the Salvation Army. Residents can donate directly to the Austin food shelf using  

This is a countywide food drive and those in rural areas should check with their local post office on how to donate. In the past, carriers from Brownsdale, Rose Creek, Adams, Lyle and Grand  Meadow have participated. Food drives are also being held in Rochester, Albert Lea and Mason City.  

All food donated stays with the local food shelf.