Stamp Out Hunger helps replenish food

National campaign is the largest one-day food drive; thousands of pounds of food delivered Saturday

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CEDAR RAPIDS — The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, a national campaign and the largest one-day food drive, delivered thousands of pounds of food Saturday to the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program.

The donated food items will help feed one in four kids throughout the program’s seven-county area who go hungry at least once a week.

“I think that this would be a really good opportunity for me to pick up things and give them to people who are hungry,” volunteer Savannah Barnes said.

With her grandpa as a letter carrier, the event prompted Savannah, 10, to think what it would be like not to have a solid meal.

So she and other volunteers traveled through Eastern Iowa neighborhoods to fill up their car trunks with food that people placed by their mailboxes. Then they made their way to HACAP.

The food will be sorted and shipped to nearly 100 non-profit organizations that provide food assistance.

“We’re seeing a definite increase and we’re seeing pantries run out of food in a much more rapid pace,” said Amanda Pieper, HACAP Food Reservoir director.

And that need will go up during the summer months away from the school cafeteria, which might be the only place kids know they can get a good meal. So the pantries stock up, but there is a specific need.

“We’re hoping for some protein items, peanut butter, tuna, canned chicken,” Pieper said.

HACAP also is looking for non-perishable staples such as pastas and canned goods.

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