Mail Carriers Take to the Streets to "Stamp Out Hunger"

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Sat, May 12 2012 at 6:46 PM, Updated: Sat, May 12 2012 at 7:17 PM

According to officials at Access, hungry mouths are on the rise in Jackson and Josephine counties.

On Saturday, United States Postal Service letter carriers all over the Rogue Valley went door-to-door picking up donations for their 20th annual Stamp Out Hunger Drive.

As Jesse Altamirano walked his mail route in Medford, he said  donations were dead.

"It's probably the weakest year i've seen so far," said Altamirano who's been involved in "Stamp Out Hunger" for the last five years.

"I'm seeing a lot less donations than we usually see, it's a little depressing," he said.

It's all an effort to feed the growing number of hungry mouths in our area.

"What we've seen over the last year comparative to this year is a lot of new people; people who have never come before, almost double the amount in both March and April," said Philip Yates, the Nutrition Programs Director for Access.

Last year, statewide, more than one-million emergency food boxes went out to families...that's a record number.

Meantime, letter carriers like Altamirano tried their hardest to collect as much food as possible.

"Right now I have a 10th of what I normally have so it's a little depressing [...] that's all i've gotten so far today," said Altamirano as he motioned at his near-empty truck.

"Normally you wouldn't be able to see the floor of my vehicle," he continued.

Officials at Access said fewer donations could be a sign that more people are in need and fewer are able to donate. It's also possible they might not have known about the food drive.

Official numbers won't be available until next week. However, Philip Yates with Access said he is confident the community will pull through and bring in as much food as last year...about 80-thousand pounds county wide.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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