East Portland Letter Carriers pick up, deliver tons of food

Folks in outer East Portland increased their food donations by 8,000 pounds, all of it picked up by their local USPS Letter Carriers …

Portland USPS Letter Carrier Liem Le totes food he picked up on his Saturday mail route.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

In some areas of outer East Portland the notification signs got our late, and collection bags didn’t get delivered, but even so, the United States Post Office (USPS) Letter Carriers’ 23rd annual “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive, benefitting the Oregon Food Bank (OFB), saw an increase of donations of nonperishable foods in the area on May 9.

By mid afternoon, the workload picked up for Oregon Food Bank volunteers stationed at post office parking lots in the area, including the USPS Creston Station on SE Foster Road.

Volunteers roll a basket of food unloaded by a driver who shuttles loads from the letter carriers, gathered mid-route.

The National Association of Letter Carriers led the food drive, with the aid of local sponsors.

“In the Portland metro, this food drive brought in 463,342 pounds of food, making this a very important day for us, and those we serve,” remarked OFB Marketing and Communications Associate Myrna Jensen, after the drive.

Jensen explained that the food bank appreciates the truckloads of products – usually cases of a single item – that they receive from the food manufacturing and wholesale industry. “But, this particular food drive provides a wide variety of food that the people whom we help might normally not receive, with the food items families need.”

And, because food donations usually dip during the summer months, when kids are at home and not getting school meals, this resupply of family pantries comes at a critical time.

OFB volunteers Beau Davis, Bill Brandt-Gasuen, Steven Williams, Adam Williams, and Brandon Rodriguez top off another pallet box during this year’s “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.

Neighbors here in East Portland donated generously, Jensen later reported.

As volunteers wheeled another tote into the United Parcel Service delivery truck, Jensen smiled, “The generosity of neighbors here, the caring effort of the letter carriers, and the help of many volunteers, will help keep many families from going hungry this summer.”

United Parcel Service driver Jason Dunbar spends this Saturday as a volunteer driver during the 2015 “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.

This year, neighborhoods served by the Lents Station brought in 23,455 lbs, up about 8,000 lbs from 2014, Jensen reported.

We thank generous neighbors for supporting the Oregon Food Bank,” Jensen told East Portland News. “And, we always appreciate donations of food or funds; the need in our community is still increasing.”

Learn more by visiting the Oregon Food Bank website: CLICK HERE.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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