New Brighton food drive

Letter carriers in New Brighton and across the nation will be collecting food donations on Saturday, May 11 for the 21st annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Food Drive.

All NALC food drive donations in New Brighton will be delivered to the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf, which in recent years has seen increased need for charitable food donations.

“In the past five years we’ve seen a 51 percent increase in the number of households served,” Ralf Reeder Supervisor Lisa Baker said. “We have tripled the amount of food donations provided to families since 2000,” she added.

Baker said the lack of jobs and low wages in recent years in addition to rising costs of food and housing have placed a lot of strain on families who are just trying to get by.

The Ralph Reeder Food Shelf gave out an average of 32,493 pounds of food to 446 households or 1,326 people each month in 2012.

“In past years we’ve collected about 17,000 pounds of food during the drive, which we have delivered to Cub Foods,” Letter Carrier Dennis Strom said. “We’ve been told that people in the New Brighton area see very little of that food, so we are excited to be delivering it directly to Ralph Reeder this year, where all the food will go to those in need in this community.”  

Strom has been a letter carrier for over thirty years and has participated in the postal food drive every year since it began 21 years ago.

He said postal workers have been distributing plastic bags to homes on their routes that can be filled with non-perishable food items for the upcoming postal food drive, but, he said any bag, box or container can be used as long as it is hung from or placed near a mailbox.

Strom would like to encourage businesses and residents at apartment buildings to get involved as well. He said food donations could be placed outside the night before the drive if residents or business owners will not be onsite the Saturday of the food drive. 

All non-perishable food donations will be accepted and picked up by letter carriers on their regular postal routes Saturday, May 11.

Additionally, Ralph Reeder will accept non-perishable foods, hygiene and personal care items, cleaning supplies, diapers, baby wipes, Super America and Cub Foods Gift Certificates and cash donations anytime of year. All donations are tax-deductable.

For more information call Lisa Baker at 651-621-7450.

The Ralph Reeder Food Shelf and Community Support Center is located at 2101 NW 14th Street in New Brighton.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at  jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7824.

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