Albert Leans set food-drive record

Published 9:05 am Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Albert Leans beat their own record Saturday with the amount of food they donated during the National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive.

Scott Pirsig, an Albert Lea mail carrier and coordinator of the drive, said local mail carriers collected 16,709 pounds of food, which beats out a 2007 record of 15,200 pounds.

Last year, Albert Lea carriers collected just over 10,000 pounds.

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“It’s a great statement for the community of Albert Lea,” Pirsig said. “In the situation we are in economically, for people to step up and give more than they ever have really makes a statement that people are looking out for their neighbor.”

This was the 15th year the Albert Lea branch has taken an active role in the letter carriers food drive, which is the largest one-day food drive in the nation. Carriers collected a record 73.1 million pounds of food in last year’s drive.

During the drive, the letter carriers, with help from rural carriers, those in other postal crafts and volunteers, collected food by people’s mailboxes during the normal delivery of mail on Saturday.

The collected food was weighed at the post office and released to the food shelves at St. Theodore Catholic Church, First Presbyterian Church and the Albert Lea Salvation Army.

“The carriers wish they could knock on every door and thank every patron,” Pirsig said. “It’s really a group effort between the whole community.”

Albert Lea also beat out Austin in collections, during what is the third year of a friendly competition between the two entities.

Austin collected just over 9,000 pounds of food, Pirsig said.