U. S. Postal Service workers and representatives of Food Share, an Oxnard-based food bank, collected 30 tons of groceries Saturday as part of a nationwide food drive sponsored by the National Assn. of Letter Carriers and the Postal Service.
This is the second year that mail carriers and the regional food bank have joined forces to stockpile provisions for hungry county residents. More than 40 tons of food was collected during last year’s effort.
Letter carriers filled their trucks Saturday with bags of canned food, which Ventura County residents had set outside to be donated to Food Share.
“We’ve had carriers who’ve made two trips,” said Troy Dickey, customer service supervisor for the Postal Service’s East Ventura Station on Wake Forest Avenue. “They’re doing their route at the start of the day to deliver mail, then they drive back and pick up food.”
“There’s really been a good response from the community,” he said, gesturing to several large canvas mail carts stuffed with groceries.
At various post offices around the county, volunteers sorted and packed cans of soup and packages of rice and pasta, which were later delivered to the food bank’s warehouse in Oxnard.
Volunteer Elle Dulaney, standing among boxes of provisions stacked on the East Ventura Station loading dock, said she was impressed with the response.
“It’s always nice when (people) come through,” she said. A Ventura resident who has volunteered at the food bank for four years, Dulaney said the drive would help replenish the food bank’s supply, which was strained after January’s Northridge earthquake.
Food Share delivered about 1.5 million pounds of food to disaster areas after the quake.
“This is a major drive for the food bank,” said Jewel Pedi, former executive director of Food Share, which feeds more than 127,000 people a month in Ventura County. “And of course with the earthquake, (we) really need it.”