Food drive down, but still successful

A North Elementary student delivers food at the Princeton Pantry in April.

The response to this year’s March food drive at Princeton Pantry was down some compared to last year, but coordinator Joyce Neumann still called it “very successful.”

Called the March food drive due to it mostly being in March, it actually ran from Feb. 27 through April 8.

This year’s drive took in 18,707 pounds of food and $27,202 in donations. That is 105 fewer pounds and $3,788 fewer dollars than in 2011. But it is still a lot of money and food, said Neumann, adding that perhaps more people will be donating later in the year.

The Minnesota Food Share program will now send a check to Princeton Pantry that is equal to 25 percent of the total dollars and food taken in (49,802), which would come out to $12,506 rounded to the nearest dollar, according to Neumann. Princeton Pantry can use that money to purchase food through the Second Harvest regional food bank.

Neumann admitted being a little surprised that the donation total was down from last year, explaining that she has watched the amount increase each year in the six years she has worked at Princeton Pantry. It could be the economy, she said.

Amid the overall donations, Neumann found a couple stories worth telling about.

The one was about a couple who brought in 26 $10 Coborn’s gift certificates. The couple explained that $260 was the amount of money found in the pockets of a firefighter after his death. The couple wanted to remain anonymous.

The other story was about a person who donated $500 after reading a story in the Princeton Union-Eagle about the food drive.

Princeton Pantry, incidentally, is still seeking volunteers to help bring surplus food from Coborn’s to the food shelf. The volunteer would only have to commit to one day per week, Neumann said. Anyone interested in more details can call either Neumann at 389-4512, or Princeton Pantry board member Bob Hasinfelt at 389-2777.