Christian Center of Park City to help fill blue bags for Stamp Out Hunger drive
Earlier this week, mail carriers across the country distributed blue plastic bags in peoples’ mailboxes as part of the 27th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive,
The Christian Center of Park City wants the community to help contribute to the National Association of Letter Carriers’ charity by filling those bags with donations.
Utah mail carriers will pick the bags up on Saturday, May 11, and deliver the donations of nonperishable food items to the Utah Food Bank network’s 150 partner agencies, including the Christian Center of Park City, said Pete Stoughton, director of programs at the Christian Center of Park City.
Utah Food Bank distributed 43.3 million pounds of goods, equivalent to about 36.1 million meals, to families and individuals around the state in the last fiscal year, he said.
“At the end of the day, the Christian Center of Park City volunteers and staff will swing by Summit County post offices,” Stoughton said of Saturday. “Instead of seeing large carts of mail, we see anywhere from five to 20 carts filled with food that we take back to our pantry.”
Stamp Out Hunger, which the Christian Center of Park City has helped with for more than a decade, is the largest food drive in Summit County, according to Stoughton.
“If I have to take the food to the pantry by myself, it takes me three days to do it,” he said, laughing. “And if you can imagine, these (mail carriers) have to carry mail and packages to the community, and then they put more burdens on their shoulders by carrying cans and boxes of food back to the post office, it’s pretty amazing.”
Residents can also donate by dropping the food off directly at the Christian Center until 4 p.m., Stoughton said.
This time around, the nonprofit is in greater need of help.
“If donors want to get credit for participating in Stamp Out Hunger they just have to tell us at that time,” he said. “We’re pretty low in all types of food, in comparison to previous years. So, anything would be of great assistance.”
The food drive comes near the end of the school year, and there are 1,000 students who qualify for free and reduced lunch in the Park City School District, Stoughton said, and as schools begin letting students out for the summer, some no longer have access to the affordable lunches served there.
“We work closely with the school district in Park City and they are doing a great job to add summer food opportunities for these children and their families.”
In addition to the students, the Christian Center of Park City serves more than 1,200 families a month in Summit County alone, and that roughly translates to 4,000 people, Stoughton said.
“People usually don’t think about food insecurity when they think about Park City,” he said. “It’s hard to see past the beautiful scenery and homes, but in reality, it’s very difficult to survive on one or two jobs here. So we can alleviate some of that burden and stress by helping provide food for families and individuals through programs like Stamp Out Hunger.”
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