The Community Services of Starke County Food Pantry is still weighing and sorting the food donated by the Knox and North Judson communities following the Stamp Out Hunger campaign organized by the Campbell Soup Company and the National Association of Letter Carriers. On May 11, Americans were asked to put nonperishable food items in a bag near their mailbox to allow letter carriers to pick them up and donate the items to local food pantries across the nation, stocking the shelves of food pantries in America just in time for summer.
Kurt Kemble, postmaster at the Knox Post Office, told WKVI that the letter carriers picked up nearly 6000 pounds that Starke County residents had left in bags near their mailbox. He said that the food has since been delivered to the food pantry, and expressed gratitude toward the community for their effort which made this year a record-breaker.
Kemble said that the post office has never before received that much food in donations, but that could be due to the fact that this was the first year the event was actually advertised. The post office sent out postcards with bags attached, asking for donations, and he said Saturday’s result was overwhelming.
“It was, you know, wow. I called the food pantry lady and she was really, really excited. She couldn’t believe it either, because that’s a lot of food for them. We had some carriers that dropped off halfway through their route,” said Kemble.
So far, the food pantry has only had the time to weigh roughly 1000 pounds of the three tons collected and they’re still trying to put it away. The town of North Judson raised about 56 pounds which were also donated to the pantry.
The donations come at the perfect time for the pantry as summer approaches, when kids do not receive breakfast or lunch at schools and low-income families are in strong need of food to put on the table.