The National Association of Letter Carriers is hosting the 21st annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive across the country Saturday, May 11, with Jefferson City's collection benefiting the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.
Everybody will get a collection bag and envelope for cash donations from their mail carrier in their mailbox this week.
"Kids are getting out of school soon, so we're looking for nonperishable items for backpack meals," said Miranda Carpenter, director of the local chapter of NALC. "We're asking customers to set out their donations by 9 a.m. May 11, and volunteers from churches and the food bank will pick up the food, sort it and send it to the food bank."
The goal of the Jefferson City event is to collect at least 90,000 pounds of food, more than last year's 77,000 pounds.
The donation bags were donated by Central Bank and, as part of the Jefferson City Correctional Center's Restorative Justice Program, offenders at the center folded the bags and inserted the envelopes for cash donations.
"Restorative Justice holds the offender accountable and provides a means for them to help repay their debt to society," said George Lombardi, director of the Missouri Department of Corrections. "This important and necessary program helps offenders connect to something outside of themselves."
Carpenter said there's typically a lot of community participation in the annual Stamp Out Hunger event.
"We want to make sure the shelves are full at the Samaritan Center and the Food Bank to make sure kids have food this summer," she said. "Our main goal is to make sure families are taken care of."