Local Letter Carriers to Pick Up More Than Mail
Duda, Dale, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Dale Duda Daily Herald Correspondent
On Saturday, letter carriers throughout Naperville will deliver their usual tonnage of junk mail, newspapers, catalogs, bills and that very occasional letter from a friend. But they'll also join with 443 other communities in Illinois to pick up thousands of pounds of donated food.
Plans are under way for the fourth annual food drive sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers in cooperation with the U.S. Postal Service.
Area businesses already have donated cardboard boxes, cars, vans and their premises as collection sites. Schools and churches have put their families on notice that hunger is a year-round phenomenon. And about 200 letter and rural carriers have pledged to donate, without pay, their time and muscle to haul the food items in their mail trucks, their shoulder bags and in hand-pulled wagons.
Now all that's left is to engage postal patrons in the effort.
It's easy enough to participate, said Laura Frohn, local food drive coordinator for the Naperville Post Office. You just have to place nonperishable food items in or near your mailbox by 9 a.m. Saturday.
In Naperville, the food will be taken to Loaves and Fishes, a food pantry on Fifth Avenue that feeds 1,300 needy Naperville families - a figure that many find hard to believe, Frohn said.
"We were quite shocked to hear that there are 1,300 families registered with Loaves and Fishes," she said.
It was Susan Neeley, executive director of Loaves and Fishes, who told Frohn of the need.
"People don't believe that a need of this nature exists in Naperville," Neeley said. But the figures are in line with national averages for a city the size of Naperville, she added. …