Krista Corner Havre Daily News email@example.com
Local letter carriers will be working to stamp out hunger this weekend, one postal customer at a time. Due to a shrinking economy, food banks all over America have suffered dire consequences, reports say. The Havre Food Bank is no different. This Saturday, local postal employees request community assistance in collecting food for the local bank in their annual National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Postal supervisor Marion Williams said the collection will start at about 8:30 a.m. for the country postal routes. The city routes will start between 9:30 and 10 a.m. "People just need to leave their (donations of) nonperishable food items near their mailboxes and the letter carriers will pick it up," she said. Food Bank Director Penny Velk said the food supply is still short in some areas, though not as short as she once thought it would be by this time. "We are always in need of canned vegetables and fruit," Velk said Tuesday. "Our meat is down to almost nothing, and we could use some Hamburger Helper or noodles of some kind." Velk said, in response to a story published in the Havre Daily News in April about the effects of the economy on the local food bank and other agencies, a high school English teacher motivated her students. "Mrs. (Karla) Bolken saw the article in the HDN about the short supply and asked her class to do a food drive," Velk said. "They brought in about 1,400 pounds of food. It was tremendous. They asked if they could bring in some food, and we thought it would be a couple of sacks full. It was a pickup load. So we spent our afternoon sorting and stocking our shelves. It was a wonderful feeling." A local church group also took up a collection this spring for the Food Bank. "The First Lutheran Church's food group decided to get food from their parishioners and the community," Velk said. The food collected by those two groups replenished some of the staples, but the food bank is not out of the woods just yet. "We're low on pork and beans, rice, and for some reason, our lowest vegetable is canned peas," Velk said. "The food drives the kids did last week, that was a Godsend, but we could use some canned soups, peanut butter and chili." Last year the letter carriers collected over 4,000 pounds of food for the food bank. "If we could get at least that again, it will help tremendously," Velk said.