A little food goes a long way
Last year more than five tons of food was collected in Newberg during the 26th annual National Association of Letter Carriers' "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive, with Dundee-area residents contributing about 3,500 more pounds of food destined for local emergency food agencies Newberg FISH and Promise Pantry.
But Sue Canfield isn't satisfied with those numbers.
"I'd like to see 12,000 pounds for Newberg, probably 4,000 for Dundee," the retired letter carrier and longtime organizer of the event said.
The effort to reach those goals is surprisingly simple: place a bag full of nonperishable food next to your mail box on Saturday and, rain or shine, a letter carrier or volunteer will pick it up and deliver it to FISH or Promise Pantry.
Organizers advise donors to not contribute rusty, mislabeled or outdated cans; perishable or homemade food items; non-commercial canned goods or packaged items; alcoholic beverages or open or partially used items.
Instead, the food agencies are looking for the staples they most distribute to area families: canned meats, canned soups and stews, peanut butter, chili, pork and beans, canned fruits and vegetables, dried pasta and macaroni and cheese.
"This is the largest food (drive) of the year and it helps sustain the pantries throughout the summer months, which is typically a slow time for donations," said Michelle Tietz, public relations manager for FISH. "Although this is a national event, all donations received from letter carriers in Newberg and Dundee will remain in our community to help our neighbors."
Where do the thousands of pounds of food go?
"In 2017, Newberg FISH provided over 16,500 food boxes to individuals and households," Tietz said. "Our area has seen a huge rise in the cost of living in the recent years, and there are many who struggle to buy food for their families. It is clear there is still a great need to help others in our community."
Of course, donating during this annual event is not the only way to help folks suffering from food insecurity in Newberg and Dundee. Food can also be dropped off directly at FISH, 125-A South Elliott Road, or Promise Pantry, 23330 S.E. Fulquartz Landing Road. Monetary donations may be made as well.