Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is a success in Eastern Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is a success in Eastern Iowa

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

According to a study conducted by Feeding America, an estimated 50,000 Eastern Iowans -- or 13% of the population -- are food insecure. Meaning at any given time, they don't know where their next meal is coming from.

Those who depend on the Northeast Iowa Food Bank (NEIFB) may find their next meal was delivered by a local letter carrier.

Cedar Falls letter carrier Grant Wason stops at dozens of homes every day. For the most part, he knows the people inside by the name or address on a letter. It's hard to imagine as many as one in seven of them are food insecure.

"It's estimated we're serving, throughout our service area, 40,000 people annually. Locally, through the Cedar Valley food pantry, we're serving about 1,200 families a month," said NEIFB Executive Director Barb Prather.

That's why Waterloo and Cedar Falls letter carriers are honored to take part in the Stamp out Hunger food drive. Families who have food to spare leave donations on their front step. Folks like Wason take care of the rest.

"I just got started and I've already got a whole truck full. So hopefully it will go good the rest of the day," Wason said.

The day only got better for Wason. He, and dozens of other carriers, dropped off hundreds of boxes filled with donations at the NEIFB. By the end of the day Prather was hoping to collect more than 30,000 pounds of food.

"There seems to be a really, really great outpouring of support for the food drive this year," said Prather.

Volunteers were thrilled to see a large number of healthy choices for the customers they serve.

"Peanut butter, I've seen canned vegetables, canned soup. All these kinds of things which really help us provide a well-rounded basket of food for the people we serve," Prather said.

It may take a little more effort on Wason's part. But he says, it's worth every step knowing his efforts will fill an empty stomach.

"It's a good cause, so I'm glad to help," Wason added.

Prather explained, this is an ideal time for a food drive. Donations tend to drop off in the spring -- however, thousands of kids depend on the food pantry in the summer months to replace their school lunches.

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