Scott Lolmaugh places a canned good item on the shelf at the Niles Salvation Army Monday morning. The shelves will be less full this year because donations dropped for the annual Niles post office food drive, which was held Saturday. Daily Star photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

Archived Story

Post office drive donations dip

Published 12:48pm Monday, May 14, 2012

Donations to the Niles post office food drive plummeted to a new low this year.

A total of just more than 20,000 pounds of nonperishable food was collected on Saturday, down about 8,000 pounds from the year prior.

Food collected through the drive is distributed to three area food pantries: Niles Salvation Army, Christian Service Center and First Presbyterian Church.

Scott Lolmaugh, volunteer coordinator at the Niles Salvation Army, said his organization received 6,380 pounds from the drive, down 3,000 pounds from a year ago.

“It’s a significant amount less,” he said.

Lolmaugh said food collected during last year’s drive lasted until around September. He expects this year’s collection will last until July or August.

“We’re going to have to do something a little different than last year,” Lolmaugh said. “We’re going to have to work harder to solicit donations and do it a little sooner. We’ll have little drives here and there.”

The annual post office food drive is typically the largest single-day food drive of the year, meaning area food pantries rely heavily on it to function.

Food drive numbers have been on a steady decline for the past several years, Lolmaugh said.

Five years ago, the Niles Salvation Army received around 14,000 pounds from the food drive.

The Niles Salvation Army provided 114 families last month with a week’s worth of groceries. In May of last year, they served 80 families.

“The need seems to be going up, while the supply is going down,” Lolmaugh said. “We’ve been breaking 100 pretty steady for the past six to eight months, so it’s going up quite a bit.

“We’ll just continue moving along. Niles does a good job of taking care of its own.”

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