The Oak Park/River Forest Post Office’s 17th annual Mail Carrier “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive was held Saturday, May 9, and despite “the current dire straits of our economy,” said Stephen May, food drive coordinator, residents showed plenty of “generosity and compassion.”

Carriers collected 9,988 pounds of food, which will be distributed to local food pantries and other community organizations. Last year, postal employees collected 10,941 pounds and the year before, 10,515, but given the economy, a half-ton falloff isn’t so bad.

In case you’re curious, May said the peak year for the drive was 1999, when 14,508 pounds of food was collected.

The beneficiaries of this year’s largesse are the OP-RF Food Pantry, Sarah’s Inn and Vital Bridges.

The food drive represents a coordinated effort between the National Association of Letter Carriers, the U.S. Postal Service and the American Federation of Labor. On May 15, 1993, over 11 million pounds of food was collected nationwide.

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