Stamp Out Hunger in Polk County

Published 6:03 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2013

On May 11, postal carriers across the country will conduct a food drive to assist those affected by hunger.

The nationwide drive, ‘Stamp Out Hunger,’ is part of a joint effort by the U.S. Postal Service and the Campbell’s Soup Company to help the 50 million Americans who live with hunger.

Locally, hunger affects one in four children and a disproportionate number of the elderly and disabled, according to statistics from the country’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to hunger.  Carol Newton, executive director for Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry (Outreach), which runs Polk County’s only certified food pantry, says the agency has seen record numbers of individuals and families applying for food aid during the past several months.

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“When we see such a high number of people coming in, it is difficult for us to keep our shelves stocked.  We rely on the community’s financial generosity and food drives such as Stamp Out Hunger to help us feed our less fortunate neighbors,” she said.

The concept of Stamp Out Hunger is simple.  Buy a few extra items of non-perishable food (please no glass containers) the next time you’re in the grocery store. On May 11, place the food in a plastic bag and leave it at your mailbox.  Postal carriers across the area will pick up the food as they deliver the mail. The carriers will bring the donations to a local post office where the contributions will be gathered and given to a local food pantry. In Polk County, the food will be donated to Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry (Outreach), the county’s only certified food pantry.

Examples of non-perishable food items include: peanut butter; canned soup; canned meats and fish; canned vegetables, fruits, and juices; boxed goods such as cereal, pasta and rice.

Participating in this effort is a small way to make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors in need.  Won’t you help ‘stamp out hunger’ in our community?

Outreach is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1991.  The organization’s mission is to provide compassionate assistance to Polk County residents who are unable to provide for their basic life needs. For more information on Outreach, please visit or call 828-894-2988.

For more information on Stamp Out Hunger, visit

– article submitted
by Wendy Thomas