The Letter Carrier Food Drive had a record year thanks to the extra generous Conway postal customers who left nonperishable food items on front steps and in mailboxes to be picked up by postal workers Saturday.

As in previous years, the second Saturday in May was dedicated to a city-wide food collection effort driven by the Postal Service in Conway.

The food drive supplies Community Action Program for Central Arkansas (CAPCA), with a cushion in the food pantry that feeds Faulkner County residents at the poverty line for the rest of the year.

CAPCA director Archie Mussleman said 27,720 pounds of food were collected Saturday, over the 21,000 pounds last year.

He was writing thank you notes Wednesday to several volunteers who contributed to the successful year.

Mussleman said the pantry’s stores are "greatly advanced" by the drive, though the organization does purchase food from the Arkansas Food Bank when supplies are low.

Fresh meat, chicken, beef, pork, milk and eggs are purchased, while the group relies heavily on the drive for "soft" food and canned items.

Cereals, noodles, and canned goods are collected in the Letter Carrier Drive, he said.

Why was it a record year?

Mussleman said he couldn’t tell.

"I can’t say why, but one thing was the weather. The weather was with us this year. It was an ideal day, and I think people just felt generous. They sure did help our coffers," he said.

Anita Lewallen, Conway Post Office branch president, said she is encouraged by the support she saw this year.

"It truly shows we care about our neighbors, and I hope we can have a better year next year," she said. "We couldn’t have done it without our customers and the volunteers who helped us."

A special thanks went out to individual volunteers and volunteers Virco, Conway Masonic Lodge, Pizza Inn, Chicken Express, Blackhawk Molding Co., and Downey Moving and Storage.

CAPCA announced Tuesday a Faulkner County Commodity Distribution set for May 23 at the administration office, located at 707 Robins St., Suite 118.

Residents near the poverty line are eligible to receive food assistance once a month, Mussleman said.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)