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Letter Carries Pick Up Food Saturday
Local postal carriers will be doing more than just delivering the mail on Saturday ... they will also be making a special pick up.

Joining with their counterparts across the country, Escalon carriers will collect donated non-perishable food items on May 8 as part of the National Association of Letter Carriers annual food drive.

Residents are encouraged to put a non-perishable donation in a bag by their mailbox. Letter carriers will pick it up, then deliver all the donations to the local C.A.R.E., Community Action Resources of Escalon, food bank on Second Street.

The 'Stamp Out Hunger' drive has traditionally been successful in Escalon, officials said, with an estimated 3,000 pounds collected last year.

Canned goods, pastas, boxed mixes and other non-perishables are sought to help stock the shelves of the local food pantry. The need for supplemental food is expected to increase as spring gives way to summer, and students that had access to the free and reduced lunch program at area schools are on vacation, no longer receiving the hot, nutritious lunch on a daily basis.

National partners in the food drive are the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, Priority Mail, Campbell's, Valpak, United Way, AFL-CIO, and Feeding America, in cooperation with the National Association Of Letter Carriers.

Postcards detailing the food drive are due in mailboxes this week, offering a reminder to residents to put the non-perishable items out for pick up on Saturday.

Local postal officials have a couple of 'visual aids' in the Escalon Post Office on Coley Avenue to draw attention to the annual food drive, with a large inflatable Campbell's soup can highlighting the effort, along with information that indicates the need to provide supplemental food to the elderly.

The C.A.R.E. Center is open for a few hours each Wednesday for emergency food needs, along with scheduled commodity distribution for eligible families and seniors the third Thursday of each month and the popular Senior Brown Bag Program in which participating senior citizens can obtain groceries. The Center serves residents of Escalon and Farmington.