May 13 at 11:47am

Stamp Out Hunger generates nearly 56,000 lbs of food donations for Interfaith Community Services

Escondido residents and their mail carriers delivered May 10, contributing 55,975 pounds of food to Interfaith Community Services during the 22nd annual Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

Carriers from Escondido’s main and Orange Glen postal stations joined colleagues from 1,200 post offices across the nation in picking up bags of food put out by their customers as part of the annual drive.

The collection in Escondido was up significantly from last year. Jerry Morgan, director of food and basic needs for Interfaith Community Services, attributed the increase to the advance distribution of bags to the city’s residents, as well as the influence of social media.

An anonymous donation allowed for the purchase of 62,000 bags with information about the drive printed on them. The bags were dropped off to mail customers a few days before the event.

No bags were provided last year, and the collection of food dropped to 25,000 pounds, including food collected at an Oceanside post office.

Numerous reminders were sent out to residents of Escondido on social media sites in the days before the collection.

Other North County food agencies that handed out bags but lacked the social media presence collected smaller amounts of food, noted Morgan, who thanks everyone who got the word out.

“The food we collected from the Postal Food Drive will provide approximately 45,000 meals to give out in the pantry,” said Morgan. “We filled more than 1,500 milk crates and probably could have used another 200.”

Helping to organize and store the large amount of food were some 50 volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and ICS staff member Rob Shover, who deftly found room for the food in Interfaith’s warehouse.