Record Numbers for Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive in Chippewa Valley

The Stamp Out Hunger food drive took place on Saturday, May 9, 2015. Yesterday, final counts of total food collected have been tallied from the 14-county area of the Chippewa Valley.

“This year we collected 63,723 pounds of food and $1,657 in the Eau Claire/Altoona area, 23,982 pounds and $260 in Chippewa Falls, and over 170,000 pounds in the Chippewa Valley,” reports Tina Dunn, Stamp Out Hunger Chippewa Valley coordinator. This marks an approximately 14,000 pound increase from 2014, and the single largest food collection in the 23 year history of the food drive in this area.

Although Chippewa and Eau Claire counties saw a slight decline from the previous year, monetary donations in the two counties saw an almost 50% increase from 2014. These dollars make a significant difference because food pantries have the ability to purchase up to $10 worth of food for every $1 they receive. Meanwhile, overall success of the food drive resulted from a significant increase in food donations from smaller communities, which averaged 14% above the previous year.

Assisting the area food drive and letter carriers was United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley, which helped to promote the event, recruit volunteers to collect donated items, and encouraged companies to run workplace food drives during the week leading up to the event. “We saw amazing participation from companies that support United Way,” says James Peters, director of marketing for the local United Way. “35 work places collected over 3,500 p0unds of donated food. This is yet another example of the community coming together— each giving a little time or food or money—to achieve tremendous results.”

All food and dollars collected for Stamp Out Hunger goes to the local food pantries where the food was collected. Food collected in Chippewa Falls was taken to The Salvation Army Food Pantry. In Eau Claire, collected food was taken to Feed My People Food Bank and St. Francis Food Pantry. Trinity Lutheran Food Pantry accepted dollar donations due to limited space.

Stamp Out Hunger remains the largest single day national food drive. It occurs every year on the second Saturday in May, when food pantries typically find their inventory low just before the increased summer demand.

Renee Wurzer, coordinator for The Salvation Army Food Pantry, poses by the donated food being sorted by volunteers. Almost 24,000 pounds of food were received at the Chippewa Falls food pantry.