National Association of Letter Carriers’ Food Drive is Saturday | NevadaAppeal.com

National Association of Letter Carriers’ Food Drive is Saturday

PETER THOMPSON
Appeal Staff Writer

Area postal workers will be delivering more than mail this weekend – they’ll be delivering hope to hungry people who depend on local charities like FISH and Advocates to End Domestic Violence for their next hot meal.

“The shelves are bare,” says Friends In Service Helping Executive Director Monte Fast. “This couldn’t have come at a better time.”

The 13th annual National Association of Letter Carriers’ Food Drive is Saturday.

Postal customers are asked to place nonperishable, unbreakable food items in a bag next to their mailbox early Saturday morning so that carriers can pick them up as they make their daily rounds.

Non-expired cans of fruits, vegetables, meats and packages of dried beans and pasta are particularly helpful to the effort to stamp out hunger.

“I can’t tell you how important this drive is to the community,” said local coordinator and letter carrier, Gregg Swift, who says he’ll be one of the postal workers out in the field collecting food along his route.

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“I’ve been in contact with Advocates to End Domestic Violence Executive Director Lisa Lee and Monte Fast from FISH and they’re really counting on the community to come through,” he said.

Those who don’t want to leave food outside can drop it off at any local post office, Albertsons or at Ormsby Station.

Swift says Albertsons will be selling pre-packed bags of food designated for the drive.

“This year, the carriers will also be taking cash donations,” he said. “You can give them directly to the carriers or you can go donate at the Food Bank of Northern Nevada’s official Web site, http://www.fbnn.org.

Letter carriers collected about 39,000 pounds locally last year, a good amount, but a slight drop off from the previous year.

“Demand was a little higher than usual this winter,” says Fast, whose organization serves between 40 and 50 families per day, not only from Carson City but from Lyon, Douglas and Storey counties as well.

“Hopefully with the economy doing a little better, more people working and our population growth, we’ll be able to top those numbers,” said Fast, who says that per capita, Carson City is one of the most generous communities in the nation.

“If every city responded to these types of efforts as heartily as we do there wouldn’t be a hunger problem in this country,” he said.

FISH will be serving a free power breakfast of pancakes, eggs and coffee for postal workers at 8 a.m.

In its first 12 years, letter carriers have brought in well over one-half billion pounds of food nationally in what is easily the largest one-day collection in the country.

n Contact reporter Peter Thompson at pthompson@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1215.

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