AP NEWS

Handle with care: Postal carriers star annual food drive

May 11, 2019 GMT

This morning, Lake Havasu City postal workers will be collecting donations of food and other goods along their routes, for its 27th Annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive.

Lake Havasu City’s postal workers have a lot to contend with: The threat of heat stroke, careless motorists and the occasional angry dog. One thing they’ve never had to worry about, however, is the apathy of Havasu residents. This morning, postal workers are scheduled to collect donations of non-perishable food items from Havasu residents at postboxes along their routes.

According to Postmaster Debbie Tinnell, postal workers collected almost 30,000 pounds of food donated in 2018, and the food drive remains popular among Havasu residents.

“We had a good year last year,” Tinnell said. “The whole community gets behind this. Each carrier gathers whatever people leave by their mailboxes … sometimes there’s so much that carriers can’t fit it all in their vehicles. I’ll be out there, driving around and helping as well.”

After carriers collect the food on their respective routes, it’s brought back to the city’s post office, to be packaged and distributed to non-profit food banks throughout Havasu. According to Tinnell, thousands of pounds of food will arrive at the post office before 5 p.m.

“It probably fills up food banks for half a year,” Tinnell said. “Havasu is a good community, and a very generous community. Everyone helps.”

The St. Vincent DePaul Food Bank, on Commander Drive, will be one of the food drive’s recipients this year. According to St. Vincent De Paul Food Manager Kathy Hayes, carriers efforts have a definite impact for Havasu’s less fortunate.

“We help a lot of people,” Hayes said Friday. “And food is needed all the time. People think about it during the holiday season, but there are people out there living in the bushes, homeless. This food drive gives us quite a boost … the food we get usually lasts about three months.”

According to Hayes, the letter carriers’ annual food drive is an anticipated event at the food bank, which serves about 400 people per month, three times per week.

“We don’t want anyone to go hungry … People in Havasu are very generous. There are a lot of good people here.”

Havasu residents can get involved by placing non-perishable items such as canned or dried food beside their respective mailboxes, to be collected by the city’s mail carriers this morning.