By JEANNIE WILEY WOLF
Findlay’s letter carriers will not be conducting their annual food drive this year. This would have marked the 20th annual event.
Factors for making the decision included an increased workload on Saturdays and a decrease in the number of volunteers helping with the drive, said Jeff Kranz of the National Association of Letter Carriers Local 143, Findlay.
“It was a tough decision, especially when you think about how much these charities we helped out needed it,” he said.
Nationwide, the National Association of Letter Carriers will host its annual drive on Saturday.
Since 1994 when the first local drive was held, Findlay residents have donated more than 465,000 pounds of food which benefited local pantries including Chopin Hall, Hope House, City Mission, Lutheran Social Services, Open Arms Domestic Violence Shelter and the Salvation Army.
The decision will make a difference in the food pantry at the Salvation Army, said Martie Smith, office manager and case worker.
“It’s going to hurt us,” she said.
The agency usually gets a lot of food donations at the holidays which carries over until the spring, she said. The Salvation Army then relies on the Letter Carriers’ drive “to get us over the hump until the holidays again,” she said.
Kranz said the workload for carriers has greatly increased on Saturdays, “making it doubly tough, even without picking up food. People are already running late.”
The number of volunteers who helped with the drive has also decreased, he said. In the past, volunteers have included members of the Girl Scouts, Camp Fire Northwest Ohio, Theta Chi fraternity from the University of Findlay and letter carriers’ families, along with volunteers from the various pantries.
“That put an extra burden on us. Some of the carriers had no one to help them pick up food,” said Kranz. “Those two factors, plus the fact that donations have been down in the past few years, too, we just decided not to do a drive this year.”
If staffing at the post office increases in the future, the drive may return to Findlay in a year or two, he said. In the meantime, Kranz suggested that people make donations directly to the charities of their choice.
“We have appreciated all of the residents’ help in the past,” he said. “Just because we’re not doing it this year, people can still support the charities in their own way.”
Wolf: 419-427-8419 Send an E-mail to Jeannie Wolf
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