Austin mail carriers get big food haul
Published 10:30 am Monday, May 16, 2016
14,280 pounds of food collected in annual drive
Austin delivered the goods on Saturday — enough of them to snag a trophy back from Interstate 90 rival Albert Lea.
Austin mail carries topped Albert Lea carriers for the first time in four years over the weekend in the National Association of Letter Carriers and National Rural Letter Carriers Association’s annual spring food drive.
“We did manage to top them by just a little bit,” said Bob Rosel, a mail carrier and Austin’s food drive coordinator.
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Austin collected 14,280 pounds of food to Albert Lea’s 13,640. Austin topped the roughly 13,000 pounds of food collected in town last year and the 11,000 to, 12,000 pounds collected in average years.
With the win, Austin snags bragging rights and brings back a trophy bought by the towns’ mayors for the competition. Rosel didn’t know when the trophy would be back in Austin, but he joked the Albert Lea carriers may mail it over.
The friendly competition is a way to get the word out each year about the drive.
Austin carriers had help with Saturday’s drive. The Austin Area Chamber of Commerce collected food and donated it to the drive, and five vehicles with National Honor Society Students helped pick up food from carriers when vehicles became full.
Though it was a bit cool, Rosel was pleased Saturday was a clear, sunny day with no rain deterring donations.
“It went very well,” he said. “The weather certainly cooperated.”
Mail carriers will still take donations early this week, as Rosel heard from a few people who forgot to leave food out on Saturday.
“We certainly don’t want to discourage them from donating,” he said.
All donations stay in the community. In Austin, donations go to the Austin Salvation Army, while rural communities send food to the nearest food shelf.