The food pantry at Together We Cope in Tinley Park overflowed in May as
U.S. Post Office employees and TWC volunteers delivered 39,600 pounds of food donated by area residents.
The local drive was associated with the National Association of Letter Carriers annual “Stamp Out Hunger” initiative. For two decades, this drive has helped feed
millions of families nationwide. Each year on the second Saturday in May, citizens are urged to leave bags of non-perishable food items next to their mailboxes. Letter carriers collect the bags and deliver them to local food pantries like Together We Cope.
Many Tinley Park residents participated in this year’s drive, donating approximately 40,000 pounds of food in all – some of which was given to another local food pantry. Keith Sahs, general postmaster of the Tinley Park Post Office, said that his employees are very active in the drive as well. “All of our carriers participate,” he said. “Some even come in on their days off or utilize leave so they can help with the event.”
Together We Cope has received food from the “Stamp Out Hunger” campaign since 1997. The first drive brought in 9,300 pounds of food. Fifteen years (and many pounds of food) later, the drive is still a big help to the food pantry. According to Carol Ettema, Together We Cope’s food pantry director, the drive helps stock the pantry’s shelves during the summer months. “I look forward to this drive every year,” she said. “It brings in a lot for our pantry.”