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Union Food Drive Up 60%

The National Association of Letter Carriers says it collected 60% more in its annual food drive this past May than in the previous year. "We went from 45 million pounds last year, which had been a record then, up to a little bit over 73 million pounds this year," drive coordinator Drew Von Bergen told the Virtual Stamp Club.

The food was collected on the second Saturday of May (May 10th) by mail carriers as they made their rounds. Postal customers left cans and boxes outside their doors. Von Bergen admits one reason this year's drive was so much more successful "was the very generous donation by Campbell Soup Company of 20 million pounds of canned goods through our drive, for the Second Harvest national food bank."

Von Bergen says the food is distributed locally. "It's very easy for the individual citizen in a community to help out their own local food bank, and help the needy people in their own area."

Von Bergen says the union gets plenty of cooperation from its employer, the U.S. Postal Service, for this food drive. "Obviously this could not occur without their help, since the drive actually occurs during the workday of the letter carriers, and the U.S. Postal Service assisted greatly this year by making a mailing to some 92 million homes in America to let people know that the drive was about to occur."

This was the fifth year for the annual program. Carriers in the Milwaukee area collected more food than any other area, followed by Long Island, NY, and Nashville, each with more than a million pounds.

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