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Delivering food to needy on mail carriers' minds this Saturday

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The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will conduct its 26th annual national food drive on Saturday. The Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive, the country's largest single-day food drive, provides residents with an easy way to donate food to those in need in the community.

Customers simply leave their donation of nonperishable goods next to their mailbox before the delivery of the mail on Saturday. Letter carriers will collect these food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes and distribute them to New Hampshire or Maine food banks.

The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is the nation's largest single-day food drive and is held annually on the second Saturday in May in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam.

With the economic struggles many Americans face, the Letter Carriers' Food Drive is as critical as ever. Not only do millions of Americans go hungry, organizations that help them are in need of donations.

Hunger affects about 50 million people around the country, including millions of children, senior citizens and veterans. Pantry shelves filled up through winter-holiday generosity often are bare by late spring. And, with most school meal programs suspended during summer months, millions of children must find alternate sources of nutrition.

Letter carriers see these struggles in the communities they serve, and they believe it's important to do what they can to help.

On Saturday as they deliver mail, the nation's 175,000 letter carriers will collect donations left by residents near their mailboxes. People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag - paper or plastic - containing nonperishable foods, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, canned meats and fish, pasta, peanut butter, rice or cereal, next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery.

Since the first national Food Drive in 1993, the Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has collected more than 1.5 billion pounds of food; last year's drive brought in a record 80 million pounds of food.

People who have questions about the drive should ask their letter carrier, contact their local post office, or go to nalc.org/food, facebook.com/StampOutHunger or twitter.com/StampOutHunger.

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