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Bonnie Schooler, executive director of the Least of These Inc. food pantry, gathers donations from the Stamp Out Hunger event.
Photo provided by United Way of the Ozarks
Bonnie Schooler, executive director of the Least of These Inc. food pantry, gathers donations from the Stamp Out Hunger event.

Ozarks residents donate over 200K pounds of food

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Residents in 14 Ozarks counties donated at least 212,000 pounds of food for the annual Stamp Out Hunger fundraiser, but rainy weather led to a decrease from the prior year.

The Ozark Mountain Branch Local No. 203 of the National Association of Letter Carriers on May 11 collected food left in bags by residents’ mailboxes. The total is expected to exceed the preliminary figure when the grand tally is announced in June, according to a news release issued Friday afternoon by United Way of the Ozarks, a partner in the event.

The preliminary total was down about 15,000 pounds from last year, said United Way spokeswoman Jill Finney, citing rainy weather. She said 2018’s total was 255,202 pounds, up from 231,939 pounds in 2017.

The donated food is distributed to more than 30 local food pantries, including those operated by Ozarks Food Harvest and its partner agencies, as well as Least of These Inc. in Christian County.

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