Bakersfield mail carriers collected food as part of national food drive

BAKERSFIELD -  

John is a mail carrier with the United States Postal Service, but today he was doing two jobs at once.

While delivering the mail on his route in Bakersfield, he was also picking up food donations as part of the National Letter Carriers Food Drive. 

"This is my second year doing this," John said.

Just his second year - but John loves taking part in this food drive because of the amount of support he finds along his route.

"The community loves to give back to charity. I mean look at all this stuff and I've just started my route," John said, with his hands full of food donations. "I mean my truck is just full with bags and it is a good thing. Makes you feel good."

This food drive has been taking place nationally for 21 years, brining in more than 70 million pound of food just last year. Over those 20-plus years the donations have weighed in all together at more than 1 billion pounds. 

Here in Kern County, all the food will stay in the area and head to the Community Action Partnership of Kern Food Bank.

Postal workers at post offices in the Bakersfield area sorted through the food after it was collected.

"Its going to better than it was last year. We had a real good year last year. But I think we might beat it this year," Randy Courson said. 

Courson works at the US Post Office on Stockdale Highway. 

Surrounded by fellow postal workers and sorting through all that they had gathered, Courson said that food wasn't the only thing being donated today. 

"All of these people are off the clock," he said. "We are donating our time. So this isn't done on post office time. A lot of the collection is don't get me wrong. We do that out on the street. But a lot of people donate time and it is a really good effort that we have put forward."

Time well spent in these postal workers minds because of who they maybe helping.

"You may be feeding someone on your route, you never know," Courson said.

The Kern Food Bank says it feeds an estimated 10,000 families and individuals each month - with today's donations being a rather large helping hand in that effort.

"They tell us it really helps their effort to feed the hungry in this town."

Today's donations should definitely help here in Bakersfield. According to the Food Research and Action Center, Bakersfield ranks number one amongst the nation's metropolitan statistical areas for food hardship. 

 

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