Local food drive surpasses those of similar metro areas

United Way of Allen County logo Stamp Out Hunger logo.

Press release from the United Way of Allen County:

We’re #1!
Local Food Drive Surpasses Those of Similar Metro Areas

(June 15, 2010) – Recently released statistics show that The Fort Wayne-area collected more pounds of food than any other similarly sized community in the nation during the May 8 Letter Carriers’ Food Drive. Area letter carriers, schools and residents contributed more than 622,000 pounds of food this year. Last year, the community gathered 453,513 pounds and the total in 2008 was 352,000 pounds. All food collected stays local; it is distributed to food pantries throughout the region. Campbell’s Soup rewards winning communities with 1,000 cans of donated food.

“The National Letter Carriers? Association ranks the winning communities each year,” said Milton Gray, food drive chairperson. “Once again this year we collected more food than any other area with a similar population. The response from our citizens is just tremendous! I’m so proud to live in such a generous community.”

The 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 77.1 million pounds of food in the 2010 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.

“Fort Wayne is the City of Churches, an All-America City, the City that Saved Itself, and I think we should add ‘The City of Generosity’ to those titles,” said Ron Turpin, board chair of United Way of Allen County. “Our residents know that we must all work together to build a stronger community and they step up when asked to do their part. United Way is proud to be a part of this food drive, which inspires such generosity.”

Donations were 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.

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