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Mail Carrier Food Drive: A unique way to feed the hungry

Annual effort, set for Sunday in Newberg and Dundee, benefits Newberg FISH and Dundee Promise Pantry

The annual Letter Carrier Food Drive, a conspicuous effort to provide food to those who have little or none, will appear once again this week.GARY ALLEN FILE PHOTO - More than two dozen mail carriers will gather food donations Saturday and deliver them to Newberg FISH and Dundee Promise Pantry.

The effort, undertaken for the past 24 years nationwide and 23 years in Newberg and Dundee, allows citizens to donate nonperishable food products to two local pantries with ease. The process is simple: place a bag of food next to your mailbox on Saturday and your mail carrier will swoop in and pick it up.

The collected food stocks will then be delivered to Newberg FISH and Dundee Promise Pantry. Those hearty souls looking to get out of house can deliver the food directly to Newberg FISH (125A S. Elliot Road), Dundee Promise Pantry (23330 S.E. Fulquartz Landing Road) or the local post office at the corner of First and Blaine streets. Don’t have any food to donate? You can send a check to Newberg FISH or Dundee Promise Pantry if you choose.

The roughly 25 letter carriers expected to take part this year are joined in the effort by their retired cohorts, family members and volunteers.

Sue Canfield, a retired mail carrier and for 23 years the organizer of the Newberg and Dundee drives, stressed that food collected during the effort remains in the area. Last year saw more than five tons (10,000) of food collected in Newberg and 2,000 pounds in Dundee.

“Thank you for your support,” she said. “This food drive comes at a time when the food banks and pantries are extremely depleted of donations. Your donation will feed families in our area over the summer months.”

What kinds of food items are they soliciting? Shelf-stable milk; foods high in protein such as canned meats (tuna, chicken and salmon); canned or dried beans; whole grain foods such as brown rice, whole grain cereal and whole wheat pasta; foods high in nutrients, such as canned fruits and vegetables; soups, chilies and stews; 100-percent fruit juice; unsaturated cooking oils and other nutritious foods. Organizers request no glass or alcohol donations.