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Letter carriers plan food donation drive for Saturday

A promotional collage of a red stamp that says, "Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive," with logos of participating organizations along the bottom.
National Association of Letter Carriers

This story is part of our new Quick Hits series. This series will bring you breaking news and short updates from throughout the state.

Letter carriers for the U.S. Postal Service are holding their annual food drive on May 11.

The National Association of Letter Carriers asks those who are able to place a bag of nonperishable food items next to your mailbox before mail pickup on Saturday.

High protein nonperishables, like canned fish and meats, boxed meals of chili or mac and cheese and peanut butter, are most wanted. They’re also asking for canned fruits and veggies.

Food collected during the drive will be delivered to local food banks, pantries and churches.

Donations made in May are particularly well timed, as food supplies from holiday donations dwindle and the end of the school year means families are on their own for lunch.

In Wyoming, an estimated 61,200 people – or 10.6 percent of the population – are food insecure, according to Feeding America’s 2021 Map the Meal Gap study.

Food Bank of Wyoming says need is rising as pandemic-era aid winds down.

“Last year, Food Bank of Wyoming distributed enough food to provide the daily equivalent of more than 23,800 meals,” a post on the organization’s website said in March. “That’s a 9% increase over the previous year and the highest amount we’ve distributed since 2021, at the height of the pandemic. Additionally, between 2022 and 2023, Food Bank of Wyoming’s 19 mobile pantries have experienced a 15% increase in attendance on average.”

The Wyoming Hunger Initiative, launched in 2019 by Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon, runs several campaigns aimed at connecting producers with Wyomingites in need. Food from the Field asks hunters to donate some or all of their deer, moose, elk, bison or antelope to participating processors, who prepare the meat for local organizations to distribute. The Initiative says since the program began in 2020, 627 animals have been donated – the equivalent of 34,393 pounds of meat, or 140,000 meals.

Food from the Farm and Ranch facilitates beef cattle donations, Fair to Fork purchases pigs from University of Wyoming Extension 4-H and FFA to donate to pantries, and Grow a Little Extra collects donations from local gardens and distributes them to families and senior centers in need.

Wyoming is among more than a dozen states that earlier this year rejected a new federal grocery assistance program aimed at supporting families during school summer vacations. WyoFile reports the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer enables states to give families a benefits card loaded with $120 per eligible child to use at grocery stores, farmers markets and other authorized retailers.

Nicky has reported and edited for public radio stations in Montana and produced episodes for NPR's The Indicator podcast and Apple News In Conversation. Her award-winning series, SubSurface, dug into the economic, environmental and social impacts of a potential invasion of freshwater mussels in Montana's waterbodies. She traded New Hampshire's relatively short but rugged White Mountains for the Rockies over a decade ago. The skiing here is much better.
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