Letter carriers pick up canned goods for national food drive

Adam Canales has delivered mail in Victoria for the past six years, but Saturday's mail call was slightly different.

It's the one time out of the year the Placedo resident, and other letter carriers, pick up non-perishable food items for the National Association of Letter Carriers "Stamp Out Hunger!" food drive.

"Right now the economy is affecting everyone," the 34-year-old said as he readied mail for his route on the corner of Ben Jordan Street and Houston Highway. "They give what they can."

Little did Canales know that his assumption would be proven otherwise.

Ten minutes into his route, he had already received at least five bags of canned good for the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent.

A 15-pound brown bag at Canales' second house belonged to Lorene Kubicek.

Kubicek had received a flier Canales had left in her mailbox.

A flier she had seen at the post office earlier in the week reminded her of the food drive, she said.

"I had food left over that I could spare," Kubicek said.

While financial times are not necessarily easy right now, Kubicek was adamant that even the smallest donations would help.

"Something is better than nothing," she said.

The food collected will be disseminated through the Food Bank to 32 agencies in Victoria County that help fight hunger.

Last year's drive raised 12,106 pounds of food.

This year 14,309 pounds of food was weighed in, said Dennis Brown, the food bank's executive director.

Canales, who works at the James Moody Station, has been on this particular route for the past four years, he said.

He has noticed that the residents on his route are particularly welcoming of him, some even offer a glass of water as he walks door-to-door delivering mail, he said.

"It's nice to do it once a year for the community," he said. "For the people."

Farther down the route, Cindy Guillen waited to ensure Canales would pick up her nonperishable food items.

Guillen did not have a lot to give but wanted to do what she could to support those really do need the help, she said.

"It's a very good cause," she said. "We should always try and help our fellow Victorians."

Her bag contained cans of chili and green peas.

"I've picked up more this year already, which is good," he said as he wrapped up the only the beginning of his route. "Any little bit helps."