Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry needs volunteers for drive in May

Volunteers from the West Ranch High School Action Team unload bags of donated food from postal trucks that were picked up by letter carriers making their postal deliveries as part of the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive and brought to the U.S. Post Office, Valencia Branch to benefit the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry in 2016. Dan Watson/The Signal

The Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry is looking for volunteers for its letter carriers drive May 12, when help is needed to unload food from carrier trucks to Food Pantry trucks.

Volunteers will be stationed at U.S. Post Office sites to unload the vehicles of food picked up throughout the valley by local carriers and taken to the Food Pantry. Additional volunteers are needed to unload the trucks and prepare for off-site storage until the food can be sorted and distributed.

The Food Pantry needs volunteers from 2-4 p.m. or from 4 to 7 p.m., when the need is the highest. Interested participants can contact the Food Pantry at 661-255-9078 to sign up. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old.

“The letter carriers drive is the biggest event of the year the Food Pantry is associated with, to feed those in need in our valley,” said Jason Schaff, SCV Food Pantry board president. “The carriers work hard that day for this worthy cause and the pantry and our clients are very appreciative.”

Schaff added that the community-based Food Pantry is staffed mostly by volunteers for its operations.

“We are reaching out to the community to help us on that day,” he said. “Our community is very generous and the amount of food to move in a few hours is massive.”

Donations keep the Pantry stocked during the summer months when donations are typically at their lowest, but need is at its highest due to children being out of school and away from breakfast and lunch programs.

The Food Pantry serves families of all ages and demographics on the basis of income and need. It celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2016, beginning as the Santa Clarita Valley Hunger Coalition in 1986. From this coalition, a Food Pantry Formation Committee, including Hod and Mary Wadsworth and Rev. Lynn Jay of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and Sharon Rodes-Wickett of Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, established the non-profit organization.

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