For Lindell Lee, Stamp Out Hunger is a family affair.
The longtime postal worker has been involved in the one-day food drive since it began in 1992. His daughter, Amanda, has been there, too, first as a young volunteer and last month with her own family.
“Helping out means a lot to him,” Amanda Quick said during the drive on May 14, where her husband, Sean, and daughter Ellie, joined her. “”I wanted to keep the tradition going.”
Stamp Out Hunger has become the nation’s largest one-day food drive and, locally, benefits The Food Bank and its partner agencies.
As of May 31, central and northeast Missouri residents collectively donated 171,975 pounds of food and $53,839 through the campaign. Financial donations continue to come in.
Food stays within the community in which it is collected, while funds go to The Food Bank, which provides food at no charge to 130 partner agencies in a 32-county service area. For every $1 The Food Bank receives, it is able to acquire 15 pounds of food.
That means with food and fund donations combined, this year’s Stamp Out Hunger brought in the equivalent of more than 964,000 meals.
The event also relies heavily on volunteers such as the Lee and Quick families. Volunteers assist postal workers by driving to collect food and help The Food Bank staff sort donations at various stations through the 32-county area.
In Columbia, volunteers from Tolton High School came as part of a project for service hours. Drew Fischer, a University of Missouri sophomore, used the volunteer work to start preparing for his dental school application. Others were there representing various clubs and community organizations.
“We are so appreciative of the support we received from our communities again this year,” said Lindsay Young Lopez, executive director of The Food Bank. “Whether you left canned goods in a bag outside of your home or stopped by a post office to assist, we are able to share food and bring hope to so many because of your efforts.”