Stamp Out Hunger food drive returns Saturday in Arizona after pandemic break

May 13, 2022, 4:15 AM | Updated: 11:22 am

(Facebook Photo/National Association of Letter Carriers)...

(Facebook Photo/National Association of Letter Carriers)

(Facebook Photo/National Association of Letter Carriers)

PHOENIX – After a two-year break forced by the COVID pandemic, the Stamp out Hunger food drive returns to Arizona and across the country Saturday morning.

The campaign, in which millions of pounds of nonperishable food is collected by mail carriers as they go along their routes, benefits Phoenix-based St. Mary’s Food Bank as well as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, United Food Bank and Desert Mission Food Bank, among others.

“It’s a drive you can do in your bathrobe and slippers. All you need to do is go to your pantry, pull out eight or 10 items, throw it in a bag, leave it at your mailbox and your letter carrier does the rest,” Jerry Brown, St. Mary’s Food Bank spokesman, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Thursday.

Traditionally held the second Saturday in May, the Stamp Out Hunger campaign is the largest single-day food drive in America, he said.

Food stays in the communities where the donations are collected. The drive, organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers, is expected to haul in about 70 million pounds of food around the country.

Nonperishables include peanut butter, canned food, cereal, beans, pasta, coffee and tea bags.

Brown said the nonprofit has seen an uptick in families needing that little extra help.

“We’re about 25% over where we were this time last year,” he said. “At some of our larger locations, the ones in Phoenix and Surprise, we’re seeing numbers that are rivaling the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

“We didn’t think we would ever see those [numbers] again.”

Some of the donations the food bank receives are shared with agencies that help the homeless.

“We’re also trying to keep people from getting to that point,” Brown said. “Giving them food that allows them to stay in their houses, allows them to put gas in their cars so they can continue to go to work.”

He added about half the people who go to the food bank have jobs, but right now what they’re earning can’t stretch far enough to cover everything needed to run a household.

The pandemic cost St. Mary’s about 1 million pounds in donations, Brown said.

Stamp Out Hunger, he said, is “an incredible way for people to make donations to their local food bank without leaving their driveway.”

St. Mary’s is accepting monetary donations at its website, as well.

“For every dollar, 95% of it goes right back into our program,” Brown said. “That doesn’t happen at a lot of places. And for every dollar we receive at the food bank, we can distribute enough food for seven meals.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(AP Photo/Giovanna Dell'Orto)...

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from May 26-28

Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the busy Memorial Day Weekend.

19 hours ago

Migrants get help with the CBPOne app from a Tijuana, Mexico city worker Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in...

Associated Press

CBP One app assists asylum-seekers after end of Title 42

More than 79,000 people were admitted under CBP One from its Jan. 12 launch through the end of April.

19 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Phoenix police investigate hit-and-run leaving 23-year-old woman dead

Phoenix police are investigating a hit-and-run that left one woman dead early on Sunday morning, authorities said.

19 hours ago

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...

Wills Rice

Lake Pleasant, Salt River see heavy traffic during Memorial Day Weekend

Both Lake Pleasant and the Salt River have seen extensive traffic over Memorial Day Weekend as families try and beat the heat.

19 hours ago

(Facebook photo | Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...

1 man dead; 2 women, 1 child hurt in Litchfield Park stabbing

One man is dead, two women are injured and one child was taken to a hospital after a stabbing in Litchfield Park.

19 hours ago

(Iren Byers - Mesa Police Photo)...

Police arrest suspect of 5 shootings that killed 4, injured 1 in Valley

Police arrested 20-year-old Iren Byers in connection to the deaths of four men and one injured woman in five separate shootings.

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

5 mental health myths you didn’t know were made up

Helping individuals understand mental health diagnoses like obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder or generalized anxiety disorder isn’t always an easy undertaking. After all, our society tends to spread misconceptions about mental health like wildfire. This is why being mindful about how we talk about mental health is so important. We can either perpetuate misinformation about already […]


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Spinal fusion surgery has come a long way, despite misconceptions

As Dr. Justin Field of the Desert Institute for Spine Care explained, “we've come a long way over the last couple of decades.”


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

How to identify the symptoms of 3 common anxiety disorders

Living with an anxiety disorder can be debilitating and cause significant stress for those who suffer from the condition.

Stamp Out Hunger food drive returns Saturday in Arizona after pandemic break