Come rain or shine, the letter carriers and motor route drivers for the Brainerd Post Office are at your doorstep or mailbox six days a week, delivering your purchases, bills and other correspondence.
On Saturday, they're hoping their postal customers will have a little something extra waiting for them at your mailbox - a food donation for area foodshelves.
The Stamp Out Hunger food drive is the world's largest single-day food drive. Saturday's food drive by letter carriers and postal branches across the county marks the 15th year of the food drive, which has resulted in the collection of more than 765.5 million pounds of food for those in need in their own communities. The drive is sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service and Campbell Soup Co., among other corporate sponsors.
John Weinhandl, a northeast Brainerd letter carrier and local Brainerd president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said postcards were sent out Saturday to let postal customers know about the food drive. He said food donations may be left at the mailboxes or doorsteps Saturday. Letter carriers will be picking up the food as they deliver the mail and then will sort the food donations and bring them to the Salvation Army Food Shelf in Brainerd. Crosby area carriers will bring their food donations to the Crosby food shelf, he said.
John Weinhandl, a northeast Brainerd letter carrier and president of the local Branch No. 864 of the National Association of Letter Carriers, delivered mail Monday along his route. Letter carriers are participating in a food drive Saturday. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls » Purchase reprints of this photo.
"It's the easiest way possible for people to contribute to the food shelf here in town and the need is huge," said Weinhandl.
Letter carriers will be collecting non-perishable food items like canned meats and fish, canned soup, juice, pasta, vegetables, cereal and rice.
Weinhandl said the Brainerd carriers, who have 11 city routes, 23 rural routes and two highway contract routes, on average collect about 8,000 pounds of food each year during the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. On Saturday they'll hit the streets about 9 a.m., working until about 3:30 p.m, collecting food along the way. They then meet at the Brainerd Post Office and they volunteer their time to sort food, then deliver it to the local food shelves.
"It's a fun day," said Weinhandl. "It gives you a nice feeling that you're doing something to help people. It makes you feel good. Our rewards are the satisfaction of knowing we're helping people out."
For more information, visit the Web site, www.helpstampouthunger.com.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5858.
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