Residents of West Jordan, Home of the Good Neighbor, were found contributing generously yesterday during the National Association of Letter Carriers' 25th Annual Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive. Such donations of food are critical to helping Utahns in need. Mail carriers with the US Postal Service picked up bags of food from residents. The food goes to the Utah Food Bank, which then helps distribute it to Utahns in need through its 141 partner agencies.
If recalled correctly from a conversation with a United States Postal Service supervisor on-site yesterday, the West Jordan Post Office has 44 mail trucks and routes covering the entire city of West Jordan, Utah. Many of these trucks were observed yesterday returning to the post office completely full of food donated by residents. Frequently, mail carriers and volunteers had to open truck doors very carefully to try to keep food from spilling out because they were so full. In fact, quite a few of the trucks were so full that bags and boxes of food that mail carriers had to transport it back in the front of the trucks, having run out of space in the back. What a great "problem" to have!
It was an incredibly beautiful sight to see so much food returning to the post office, with numerous volunteers getting to directly observing the generosity of West Jordan residents. For some volunteers, it was rather overwhelming and a little emotional.
And it wasn't all about "junk items" being donated, the types of food hardly any person wants to eat. Volunteers, while sorting the food donations, found a wide variety of high quality food items including many donations of organic, non-GMO, and expensive food items.
This summary of the food drive yesterday is written-up by Matthew Winters, a resident of West Jordan and founder of the Mingle Utah singles community, as he had the privilege of helping to coordinate and staff volunteers for the West Jordan location this year. Mingle Utah, a singles community, includes among its activities opportunities for people to provide service to the community and interact with others doing the same.
While the Utah Food Bank does weigh each pallet of food, it is understood that total weight of pallets per location is not specifically calculated. Based on general understanding of typical weight ranges, it is believed that that roughly 450 cubic feet or roughly 15,000 (or more) pounds of food were collected from West Jordan, Utah residents on a single day yesterday, May 13, 2017.
And the timing can be critical. With the school year ending soon, many children are put at greater risk of hunger for the summer due to no longer having free school lunches. The Utah Food Bank estimates that 1 in 5 children in Utah are at risk of uncertainty regarding their next meal.
There are enough issues and negative news from day-to-day. So it seems timely and important for positive news to be passed along. People do good things, generous things, and selfless things every day in this world. Often, such efforts go unnoticed, outside of the lime light.
West Jordan residents deserve kudos for helping their community in time of need with their wonderful generosity. Since not everyone gets to directly observe the impact of their generosity, it may be encouraging to hear how it helps people. Matthew Winters has been fortunate enough to see the positive impact from past days helping to supervise a Utah Food Bank partner distribution center in Midvale, Utah. There, he watched hundreds of Utah families come to get food and other basic life necessities. Sometimes people were emotional as they came to receive food, relating challenging life circumstances and how critical food pantries are to ensuring their families are fed.
It is truly a scary thing to not know if one will have something to eat for their next meal. The generosity of West Jordan residents and others in Utah is critical to ensuring people have basic necessities in times of need. Because regardless of differences between people and groups of people, no one should ever have to go hungry.