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Letter carrier food drive donations top 38,000 pounds

By Sonny Long
May 15, 2012 at 12:15 a.m.

Food Bank of the Golden Crescent staff member Frances Santellana, left, and  volunteer Robert Schmidt sort food during the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

HOW TO HELP

To further assist the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent with food donations, cash donations or as a volunteer, call 361-578-0591.

Victoria County residents set a record Saturday by donating 38,789 pounds of food during the Stamp Out Hunger food drive conducted by the National Association of Letter Carriers.

During the past 10 years, the annual food drive has averaged about 11,000 pounds of food per year and raised 10,165 pounds in 2011.

This year's total of 38,786 pounds is more than three times that received in 2011 and by far the most food ever raised in a single year, according to a news release from the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent, the recipient of the food donations.

Dennis Brown, executive director of the Food Bank, said publicity helped get the word out that helped lead to the success of this year's drive.

The bags delivered by the post office in advance of the drive also helped, he said.

"The bags were handy, impossible to miss, and labeled well. Many people put a considerable amount of food in them and this also helped increase the numbers," Brown said.

"I think once people got the message and had time to respond, they did so generously, knowing their contribution would make a difference.

"Over the last three years, I have experienced and witnessed the generosity of Texans and have been quite impressed. This definitely is a loving community," said Brown."

The Food Bank was especially grateful to Tim Castner, the association's food drive coordinator and a local postman and to Ken Epley, postmaster for the Victoria area, Brown said in the news release.

The food drive's major sponsors included AARP, Campbell's, Feeding America, AFL-CIO, United Way, Uncle Bob's Self Storage and Valpak.

Grocery bags were delivered by the postal workers two to three days before the food drive and local citizens responded generously, Brown said.

The Food Bank of the Golden Crescent serves more than 100 agencies in an 11-county area.

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