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Sending food donations by mailman

Letter carriers will leave post offices with stacks of mail and packages but will likely come back with even heavier loads next Saturday. On their regular routes, they are making their annual collection of non-perishable food items and toiletries that residents leave by their mail boxes cross-county.

The food drive could not come at a better time.

“What happens is this time of year people forget (us) because it’s not the holidays and it’s not the time for giving,” said Joe Cargile, executive director of the Central Kitsap Food Bank. “People go on vacation, kids are out of school, people seem to forget the food bank. It’s our lull time.”

The May 13 food drive is a team effort by the United Way and the National Association of Letter Carriers. According to the United Way of Kitsap County, last year local letter carriers collected 159,000 pounds of non-perishable foods.

“We are happy to be a small part of the solution for hunger,” said James Espenson, Silverdale postmaster.

Central Kitsap post offices supplied 9,900 pounds of last year’s county total to the CK Food Bank, Cargile said. It was not a great amount, he added, recalling a past mail carriers’ food drive that poured 20,000 pounds of food into the bank’s reserves.

But that is the nature of this drive, it is anybody’s guess how much food and how many toiletry supplies will be collected May 13.

Cargile said he hopes people will be generous. The Letter Carriers Food Drive should tide the CK Food Bank through Nov. 1 when winter holiday donations begin to trickle in, he explained.

The last few weeks have been demanding on Cargile and his volunteers — they’ve distributed thousands of pounds of food.

“A lot of people forget we need toiletries too,” Cargile added.

Paper plates, forks and napkins also are accepted.

CK residents should be receiving flyers in the mail with more details.

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