California Post Office/Rural Carriers Collect Food For Food Pantry

Jay Starr, a volunteer with the California Food Bank, and Dennis Scheidt, a carrier with the California Post Office, with food collected by the California Post Office, rural carriers and volunteers and was donated to the California Food Bank.

Jay Starr, a volunteer with the California Food Bank, and Dennis Scheidt, a carrier with the California Post Office, with food collected by the California Post Office, rural carriers and volunteers and was donated to the California Food Bank. Photo by John Inman.

Employees of the California Post Office along with area rural carriers and volunteers collected 3,440 pounds of food for the California Food Pantry located at the California United Methodist Church as part of the annual National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, which is the largest one-day food drive in the nation. For the first time in 10 years California Postmaster Krystal Barnes could not participate due to family priorities but was very appreciative of the work of the letter carriers and volunteers from the California United Methodist Church. She said church members even donated a U-Haul truck to carry the food in. Barnes also credited and appreciates Letter Carrier Dennis Scheidt who volunteered time and supplies to the food drive as well as directed the volunteers on where to go.

"The food drive went really well," Barnes said. "In the past 40 days there have been two food drives by other organizations which collected 1,500 pounds of food. Last year we collected over 6,500 pounds. This year we collected the 3,440 pounds along with $313 in cash and checks. I think we were down this year due to the other collections, weather and the economy. However, we are so appreciative of everyone's support and what we have received."

The U.S. Postal Service and Campbell Soup Company are major supporters of the drive and Campbell Soup earmarked an additional one million pounds of canned food to the drive as well. Other supporters of the drive are Cox Target Media and its Valpak Direct Marketing Systems, the nationwide direct mail marketing firm which promotes the drive on 40 million packets delivered to postal customers. The drive also relies on the backing of the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, the Feeding America food bank network; the United Way of America and its local United Ways, the AFL-CIO Community Services network, and countless local sponsors. Barnes said the food drive has been an annual event going on 30 years and will continue in the future on the second Saturday of May each year. Other organizations the Post Office supports are the United Way, MDA and local blood drives. For more information, call the California Post Office at 573-796-4401 or the California United Methodist Church at 573-796-2792.

Barnes as well as the United Methodist Church both greatly appreciates all the volunteers and donations which made the food drive a success.

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