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Letter carriers collect for Marysville food bank

Marysville-Pilchuck High School Naval Junior ROTC cadet Dillon Ahola, at left in the red shirt, and Marysville Getchell High School’s Chanel Valladighan unload the collected food from a letter carrier’s vehicle on May 12. - Kirk Boxleitner
Marysville-Pilchuck High School Naval Junior ROTC cadet Dillon Ahola, at left in the red shirt, and Marysville Getchell High School’s Chanel Valladighan unload the collected food from a letter carrier’s vehicle on May 12.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — In spite of volunteer support that included local students from as far away as Lakewood High School, the annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive on Saturday, May 12, yielded a slightly smaller haul for the Marysville Community Food Bank than previous years.

Marysville Community Food Bank Director Dell Deierling reported that they received 24,997 pounds of food that Saturday, down 7 percent from the 27,013 pounds of food in 2011, 32,300 pounds in 2010 and 40,000 pounds in 2009.

“Although it is a decrease, it breaks the trend of the 20 percent drops which took place between 2009 to 2010, as well as 2010 to 2011,” Deierling said. “Unfortunately, the number of folks coming to the Marysville Community Food Bank has increased each of these years, and is up by 8 percent this year alone.”

Deierling nonetheless expressed his gratitude to all those who took the time to donate food or sort it at either the Marysville Community Food Bank or the Marysville Post Office on State Avenue, the latter of which saw a number of Marysville and Lakewood high school students turn out to take part, including members of the Marysville-Pilchuck High School Naval Junior ROTC.

“There’s been a great sense of cooperation and teamwork between the volunteers and the letter carriers,” Deierling said. “The entire rest of the year, the adults who have volunteered here will still be talking about the great work these kids have done.”

Rural letter carrier Jackie Engle echoed Deierling’s assessment.

“It’s an amazing outreach,” Engle said, after a group of students unloaded the plastic bags of food that she’d collected on her route. “I love to see these kids getting involved in helping out. It’s a challenge to find enough room in my truck,” she laughed, “but these people are great and it’s worth it.”

Jan Tilly, a 15-year volunteer of food banks who’s spent the past eight years volunteering at the Marysville Community Food Bank, pointed out that the summer months bring with them a heightened demand for food banks’ services.

“Without school lunches during the break, students who are on free or reduced-price lunches need more food,” Tilly said. “Hunger doesn’t take a holiday, but we’re very blessed by how this city reacts to that need.”

Marysville residents who missed getting their yellow bags out may take their donations directly to the Marysville Community Food Bank, located at 4150 88th St. NE, directly behind St. Mary’s Catholic Church. It’s open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8-11:30 a.m., as well as Tuesdays from 2-6:30 p.m. To make a financial donation, you may send a check to P.O. Box 917, Marysville, WA 98270.

 

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