AP NEWS

Postal workers collect more than 31 tons of food

May 16, 2019

Rochester’s letter carriers delivered 63,392 pounds of food to Channel One Regional Food Bank during the weekend.

“It was amazing how much food came in,” Jessica Sund, Channel One’s communications and event manager, said Monday morning as the food was being weighed.

The food was collected Saturday from postal customers, who left food donations near their mailboxes.

Sund said the annual National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger food drive is the biggest one-day drive that benefits Channel One, which offers food support to people throughout Southeast Minnesota.

Channel One’s supplemental food shelf serves 3,500 households every month.

Channel One Executive Director Virginia Merritt said the timing of the letter-carrier drive is important, since it aligns with the end of the school year.

“The Stamp Out Hunger food drive comes at a time of year when we are preparing for the increased needs of summer,” Merritt said. “This community repeatedly steps up to help their neighbors who face food insecurity, and we are grateful to the National Letter Carriers Association and our local letter carriers for organizing an event of this magnitude that will provide food for these individuals.”

Sund said many families with children who get two meals a day through school-related programs face increased financial pressures during the summer months, especially with increased child care expenses.

Sund said only 1 in 6 Minnesota children who received free or reduced-price breakfasts or lunches in 2016 during the school year also received the meals through a summer program.

“In other words, when considering area public schools, more than 5,000 school-age children lose all the food they normally get during the school year,” she said.

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