Postal workers giving back with food drive

By LISA CAPOBIANCO
STAFF WRITER
For the past six years, the community has stepped up to support the Bristol Post Office’s annual food drive.
Last year, the food drive received at least 60 turkeys from local residents, and this year, Bristol letter carriers hope to reach above that goal. The sixth annual food drive will take place this Saturday morning, when letter carriers will pick up perishable and non-perishable food donations at residents’ mailboxes throughout Bristol. Residents who miss the food donations pick-up are welcome to drop off their donations at the Bristol Post Office, which is located at 151 North Main Street.
From turkeys and stuffing to frozen pies to vegetables, Bristol residents have donated a variety of Thanksgiving fixings for people in need. All donations will support food pantries in Bristol. The food drive has supported organizations, including St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Bristol, St. Ann Church, Christian Fellowship Center and Zion Lutheran Church’s Meals for the Needy.
“The Bristol community has responded above and beyond,” said letter carrier Pete Rutovich, who began the food drive six years ago.
Rutovich said he began the annual tradition to help give more support to local food pantries that may need an extra hand during this time of year. Although the Post Office participates in the national food collection every May, Rutovich knew having a second food drive could help make a difference too.
“Food banks are hurting,” he said, adding how the post master has shown full support for the food drive.
Bulk Mail Technician Kelli Zimbaldi said people in the community have stepped up to give back to the food drive, which grows every year with more volumes of food.
“The need is so real,” said Zimbaldi, who has helped Rutovich with the food drive. “People are hungry in our own town.”
Zimbaldi said many people in the community come together to help make the food drive a success, including volunteers who come together to help collect the food on their day off from work. Rutovich added that Scott Scanton, programming and public relations manager at Bristol Public Library, helped design flyers to promote the food drive.
“We come together and support each other,” said Rutovich, who has worked at the post office for 30 years now.
Comments? Email lcapobianco@BristolObserver.com.