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Published 12:00 am Monday, June 14, 2004

The letter carriers of the Luverne Post Office staged a food drive last Saturday, and in one day collected more than 1,200 lbs. of non-perishable food for DHR.

"Our letter carriers and rural carriers decided to take part in a food drive to help out those that need food," said Luverne Postmaster Marla Brewer. "One of our city route carriers said in the past he could remember picking up two cans during a drive. This time it was different."

The Post Office sent out postcards last week to all mail customers, saying that if non-perishable food items were left in the mailbox, the carriers would collect them, bring them back to the office, and take them to an area food bank.

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"I was so pleased when Ms. Brewer called me," said Paul Butler, director of the Crenshaw County office of the Department of Human Resources. "Many times people will donate to food banks during the fall and winter months, and especially during the holiday season. But rarely do they donate food during the spring and summer months, which makes this the best time for the Post Office to have helped us like this."

Butler said his people really appreciated the gesture and the work of the mail carriers.

"We appreciate the community's generosity, and that of the energetic staff of the Luverne Post Office for carrying out such a tremendous project," he said. "It warms my heart that Ms. Brewer and her staff would take on such a project, and I praise them for their efforts."

"This was something that really came out better then we expected," said Brewer. "And a lot of the food came from our rural routes. Our rural carriers are not members of the letter carriers' union, because they are contracted carriers. But they really came through, as did the rural customers."

Brewer and others loaded a mail jeep and carried the food to the DHR office, and Butler's excited staff came from all over the building to help unload the food.

"Our people really appreciate this, because the food stores in our office have really become depleted in the last few months," Butler said. "They began immediately sorting out and placing the food for distribution."