Unfortunately some thru-hikers now are planning on extra food being available, either by asking other hikers, or in the case of the PCT, this year, some mailed supplies are not used due to trip cancellation. In this case the extra is lert in "hiker boxes". In one trail journal, when the hiker box was empty the thru-hikers actually were angry, because they felt entitled to the free food for no carrying weight. In another trail journal, one PCT hiker was depending on JMT hikers (this trail parallels the PCT for a long section through the Sierra) to give them their excess food, because JMT hikers usually are less experienced at planning long trips and overpack food. I find this disturbing.
Some over-zealous "environmentalists" take it upon themselves to remove caches, whether leagal or not in addition to cairns and trail signs.
But I guess the sliver lining of your experience is that in the future you can pack less food than you think. Sometimes it is a learning lesson to run out of food. You managed, nevertheless.