HOLLAND — Arriving at every mailbox in the 49423 and 49424 zip codes in the next few days are bags to collect donations for the biggest community-wide food drive of the year.
The annual Postal Food Drive is a tradition for postal workers and the area agencies that benefit from the tens of thousands of pounds of food collected.
Holland’s food drive is part of the National Association of Letter Carriers “Stamp Out Hunger” campaign. Most post offices around the country are holding drives May 14, but Holland delayed its event one week because of the Tulip Time festival.
“It’s a big help for Salvation Army and the other organizations who depend on food drives like these to help those we serve,” said Holland Salvation Army Social Services Director Melanie Weaver. “Around this time of year, other food pantry donations can be low, and this acts as a way to replenish our stock to keep serving those in need with a wide variety of food options.”
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On their routes Saturday, postal carriers will look for the bags of donated food items left out for pickup next to mailboxes and take them back to Hope College, where volunteers will weigh and sort the donations and divide them between the four recipient organizations: the Salvation Army, Gateway Mission, Community Action House and Resilience: Advocates for Ending Violence.
Volunteers and retired postal carriers help with the collection of donations on the routes.
“This is such a critical effort every year, supplying tens of thousands of pounds of helpful food assistance as we head into the summer months,” said Community Action House Executive Director Scott Rumpsa. “We all felt the loss when this huge community effort hit pause during COVID, and we’re celebrating that it’s back — we’re all rooting for this to be the biggest year yet.”
Donations may also be dropped off at the DeVos Fieldhouse on Saturday, May 21, beginning at 9 a.m.
The drive accepts non-perishable food items. Some recommended items are: masa, coconut milk, curry pastes and spices, chickpeas, dried chili peppers, flour, unsalted nuts, jasmine rice, canned soup, beans and chili, cooking oil, nutritional shakes, plant based milks, lentils and pinto beans.
To volunteer, contact Weaver at 616-392-4461.