Community Challenged to Stay #1: Food Drive Set For May 8th

Press release from the United Way of Allen County:

Community Challenged to Stay #1: Food Drive Set For May 8th
Abbett Elementary Wins School Food Drive Competition

(May 5, 2010) – Area letter carriers and students at Abbett Elementary are challenging the community to repeat last year’s performance and contribute more than 400,000 pounds of food to the 2010 Letter Carriers’ Food Drive set for Saturday, May 8, 2010.

In a kick-off to the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive, students at Abbett Elementary won a local school contest to collect the most canned goods by gathering 1500 pounds of food. The win is particularly significant because 93 percent of Abbett students are on free and reduced lunches.

“These students come from families who are struggling financially,” said Milton Gray, local chair of the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive. “Yet Abbett students and their families found a way to help others. They exemplify the generosity of our community.”

Gray hopes Fort Wayne-area residents follow Abbett students’ example and once again collect more than 400,000 pounds of food. Last year the area collected 453,513 pounds, more than any other community of the same size.

“Earning the #1 title for most food collected is one of the best honors I can think of for the Fort-Wayne area,” said Ron Turpin, board chair of United Way of Allen County. “It speaks volumes about what our residents value and their willingness to help others. Sometimes our community gets negative publicity for things like unhealthy eating, but the title of Most Generous Community is really more accurate.”

The 18th annual National Association of Letter Carriers’ (NALC) National Food Drive to “Stamp Out Hunger” is the largest one-day food drive in the nation. Carriers collected a record 73.4 million pounds of food in last year’s drive. The drive is held annually on the second Saturday in May in more than 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Donations will be collected by more than 1,400 local branches of the 300,000-member postal union and delivered to food banks, pantries and shelters that serve the communities where they are collected. Assisting in the effort are rural letter carriers and other postal employees, as well as members of other unions and thousands of civic volunteers.

Partners in the local and national effort include the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, U.S. Postal Service’s Priority Mail, Campbell Soup Company, Feeding America, United Way Worldwide, Valpak Direct Marketing and the AFL-CIO. Locally, Kroger/Scott’s Stores donated the bags for food collection.

To help out, residents should place their donation of non-perishable items in a grocery bag next to their mailbox on May 8.

Volunteers are needed to help collect donations in some of the rural areas. Anyone with a truck or van who is willing to help should call Milton Gray at 260.249.9008.

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