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Carriers pile on pounds for food drive

North End communities were very generous during a time of the year when area food banks tend to have bare shelves.

But full bags and red flags on and near mailboxes were seen everywhere May 8 and, as a result, the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive was a huge success at the Poulsbo and Kingston United States Postal Service offices.

The Poulsbo Post Office shattered last year’s nearly-12,000- pound record by collecting 19,300 pounds of food.

“It looks so incredible when you look in the back of the truck,” said Poulsbo acting Postmaster Kris Strand of the semi-tractor trailer that was the holding area for the food. “The community just did an incredible job.”

On- and off-duty Poulsbo mail carriers came together Saturday to help collect the food within Little Norway’s ZIP code and didn’t finish their collections until about 7:30 p.m. that night.

“The ZIP code with the most,” said mail carrier Elizabeth Carter with a laugh.

The trailer is currently located at North Kitsap Fishline in Poulsbo, where food bank volunteers will sort through the bags and bags of groceries.

Carrier Bruce Hall said the community responded better this year than ever before with its donations.

“Poulsbo residents are really generous people,” added carrier Gail Green.

Carter said she noticed people donated portions of their Costco purchases and provided quality staple goods.

In Kingston, the donations hovered around 2,000 pounds this year, about the same as last year.

“The food bank was very happy,” said Postmaster Steve Jorgenson. The Kingston Post Office donated its collections to the Kingston Food Bank and ShareNet Food Bank.

The Kingston office completed its routes and collections by 2 p.m. Saturday, with the help of several Kingston/North Kitsap Rotary Club members.

Jorgenson said there were plenty of canned goods, cereal and boxes of bakery products, such as cake mixes.

“My sense is that maybe more people contributed this year,” he explained. “But there wasn’t as much on the ground, there was more in the mail boxes, so it equaled out in the end.”

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