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Postal services collects 16 tons of food

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  • | 4:00 a.m. May 13, 2009
  • East County
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The Lakewood Ranch Post Office and others throughout Manatee County collected more than 16 tons of food for the Food Bank of Manatee during the 17th Annual Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive May 9.

The drive is a nationwide effort to collect non-perishable goods from resident mail boxes for local food banks and pantries. This annual drive is a major source of food for The Food Bank of Manatee, which is experiencing an unprecedented demand for aid from 110 local area agencies that help needy families in Manatee County.

"This one day event took a lot of effort and coordination between the post offices and ourselves to make it such a success," said Joe Mercado, director of The Food Bank. "Without our marvelous volunteers and the help of the postal carriers, I don't know if we would have enough supplies to make it through the summer months when donations are slow. Our local children will soon be on summer vacation and it is satisfying to know that even without a school lunch, we can provide those in need with food, thanks to the generosity of our community.”

Volunteers helpedthe mail carriers unload food donations and place them in the Food Bank trucks to be taken to the Food Bank Rescue Center where more volunteers unloaded, sorted and re-packed the goods to be given to the agencies requesting food for residents in need.

More help is still needed to sort food, and all businesses, schools, or civic groups are welcome. For more information on how you can help,  call 941-747-FOOD. Additional information is available at


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