Mail carriers prepare for May 8 food drive

Mail carriers prepare for May 8 food drive Members of the Vermillion Branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) are gearing up for their 1999 community-wide food drive.

On Saturday, May 8, city and rural carriers will pick up all of the non-perishable food donations left by their patrons' mailboxes during the regular delivery of that day's mail. For those with post office box delivery or who prefer to bring their food drive donations to the post office, there will be a collection box in the post office lobby for collection of the donations.

At the conclusion of the Saturday mail delivery, the post office employees will consolidate the donations and transport them to the Vermillion Food Bank at Trinity Lutheran Church, 816 East Clark.

The food bank provides nutritional assistance for residents who are unable to provide it themselves. This assistance may be needed at any time of the year and the goal of the food bank is to be there to help those who are less fortunate.

The Vermillion Food Bank is supervised by Mary Berglin and staffed by volunteers. It is open on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Fridays from 1 to 4:30 p.m. In case of an emergency, contact Social Services.

In order to provide the best possible service and minimize waste, Berglin offers a few suggestions:

Only non-perishable foods can be utilized. Fresh food, fruits and breads are not acceptable due to their limited shelf life. Open or broken containers are also not acceptable. The only items the food bank can open and divide among several recipients are non-edible items such as laundry soap or paper products.

Food items in high demand are soda crackers, tuna fish, peanut butter, white rice, cream soups, tomato soup, pork and beans, spaghetti sauce, spaghetti noodles, cake mixes, graham crackers and canned peaches.

Non-edible items also needed are powdered laundry detergent, bars of hand soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toilet paper.

Donated items should be within their expiration date. Please consider this when deciding which items to donate.

"If it isn't good enough to give your family, it's probably not good enough to give to the food bank," Berglin said.

Anyone who will not be home on May 8 for the annual food drive may leave their donation out a few days before or after that Saturday and your letter carrier will gladly pick it up for you.

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