Letter carriers partner in annual food drive
The National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Association of Rural Letter Carriers have joined together this year as full partners in the 18th Annual Food Drive that will be conducted Saturday, May 8, in more than 10,000 cities and towns across the United States, including locally West Fargo, Fargo and Moorhead.
Food drive donation bags will be distributed by both the city and rural carriers all this week in advance of the actual pick-up during regular mail routes Saturday. Residents are asked to fill the bags with non-perishable food items, excluding any glass items, and place them out by the mailbox well before their mail carrier is scheduled to arrive on the pick up date of May 8. The food will be taken back to respective postal stations, sorted and then delivered to the food bank outlets. Food from North Fargo and West Fargo will go to the Emergency Food Pantry; the collections in Moorhead will go to the Dorothy Day House; while South Fargo donations will go to the Great Plains Food Bank.
Jeff Borgrud, a letter carrier at the North Fargo Trollwood station who has served as local project chairperson since 2001, said the goal of this year's local campaign is to simply do better than last year's collection of 54,222 pounds, which he said was the lowest amount recorded. "Because it was such a tough year last year with the flood and the economy, we are just hoping to better last year's numbers"
Nationally, however, figures fared better despite the difficult economic times with a record 73.4 million pounds of non-perishable foods collected.
Borgrud encourages everyone this year to "give as much as you possibly can because the food is going out faster from the local food banks than it is coming in." He said having the rural carriers come on board as full partners is a huge plus, with about half of the residential stops, especially in Fargo, rural route. "Their contribution is always key to the success of the annual food drive and their full involvement this year should only serve to make things better."
In addition to Borgrud, several letter carriers are assisting with the campaign including: Emily Roers, West Fargo, Rachel Eagleston, Prairiewood, and Jay Wentzel, Moorhead.
Borgrud said that organizers are appreciative of everyone's sincere effort and support, in particular, Mazda of Fargo (part of the Lunde Auto Group) and Hornbacher's Foods, which have served as sponsors since the food drive's beginning days, with Hornbacher's coordinating the bags and Mazda providing cars for the radio remote that will precede the event on May 8, at the Village West Hornbacher's store.
Borgrud said the pallet scale donated by Prairie Scale Systems to the Emergency Food Pantry in 2007 has also been a real time saver making the weighing process a lot more efficient.
For more information about the annual food drive, visit www.nalc.org.