Archived Story

Albert Lea outdoes Austin in food drive by letter carriers

Published 9:41am Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Albert Lea residents donated more than 14,000 pounds of food Saturday during the National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive.

The total donations surpassed those given by residents in Austin, in what has become a friendly competition between the two cities.

“A big thank you to everybody,” said Scott Pirsig, coordinator of the local food drive. “It was such an incredibly busy weekend, with Mother’s Day and the fishing opener, but people still put out the food for us to pick up.”

Pirsig, a letter carrier, said Albert Lea residents donated 14,059 pounds of food, while Austin residents donated 10,700. This is the fourth-highest collection total in Albert Lea, he said.

As part of the largest one-day food drive in the nation, the carriers collected food at or near residents’ mailboxes during their normal mail delivery. The food was weighed at the respective post offices and then immediately released to area food shelves.

In Albert Lea, the food was given to the Ecumenical Food Pantry at the First Presbyterian Church and the Albert Lea Salvation Army.

Pirsig said he is pleased with the response given by the community.

“If you look at similar-sized cities throughout the country and particularly throughout Minnesota, our community gives a lot more,” Pirsig said. “It’s a reflection of how this community cares for their neighbor.”

This was the 21st year for the annual food drive nationally and the 18th year for the Albert Lea branch to take part.

Austin letter carriers will present Albert Lea carriers with a trophy at an upcoming Albert Lea City Council meeting.