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Letter carriers collect for Arlington Food Bank

Volunteer Kelly Marlo weighs bags of food during the May 12 National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive at the Arlington Community Food Bank. - Lauren Salcedo
Volunteer Kelly Marlo weighs bags of food during the May 12 National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive at the Arlington Community Food Bank.
— image credit: Lauren Salcedo

ARLINGTON — The Arlington Community Food Bank continued to benefit from its town’s generosity even after the annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive on Saturday, May 12.

Sharon Moon, administrator and project manager for the Arlington Community Food Bank, reported that they received 12,653 pounds of food that Saturday, but added that they were still counting further donations made on Monday, May 14.

“That’s 4,000 pounds more than we received last year, but still less than the average for the past several years before that,” Moon said.

Volunteers at the Arlington Community Food Bank and the Arlington Post Office on Olympic Avenue agreed with Moon that this year’s haul represented a welcome recovery from last year’s relatively low take, but still represented a down year compared to the years prior.

“This year’s been pretty good,” said Morris Thomas, a retiree who joined three other volunteers at the Arlington Community Food Bank in sorting through the trucks of food that they received throughout the day. “It’s a lot like fishing, though. You don’t know what’s coming in, or when, and when it does come in, it’s either all or nothing,” he laughed.

Thomas agreed with Mary Jo Schoeben, who helped him bring in food from letter carrier’s vehicles, that the plastic bags in which much of the food was carried were a bit fragile.

“Glass containers can break,” Schoeben laughed, after the bottom of one of the plastic bags ripped open. “Everything always works out, though, even though it never goes according to plan.”

While Thomas estimated that he averages about six to eight volunteer hours at the Arlington Community Food Bank each week, he didn’t doubt that the Letter Carriers Food Drive would take him up to 15 or 16 hours for that week.

“It’s a good crew here, though, and everyone is so flexible,” Thomas said. “It’s not really hard at all.”

Over at the Arlington Post Office, fellow volunteers Chuck Pierce and Greer Davis sorted plastic bags of food into sturdy crates, to try and make the work of their counterparts at the Arlington Community Food Bank easier, while rural letter carrier Chi Osborn dropped off the bags of food he’s collected and reflected on the three years that he’d taken part in the Letter Carriers Food Drive.

“It adds some time to my route, but I can’t complain at all,” Osborn said. “It’s a great event for a great cause. It’s the least I can do, especially on such a sunny, beautiful day.”

 

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