Mail carriers will be collecting more than just mail on Saturday. The U.S. Postal Service will also be picking up canned goods for a cause from the mailboxes and driveways of residents across the Hudson Valley.
The 20th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is scheduled for Saturday, May 12.
Organizers are asking U.S. residents to leave a "sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, pasta, rice or cereal next to their mailbox prior to the time of regular mail delivery" that day, according to a press release.
The event is sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers, a union of more than 300,000 carriers working for the U.S. Postal Service. The carriers will pick up the donations along their routes.
"We look forward to it every year," said Stuart, a clerk at the . He preferred to provide only his first name. "It's just our pleasure."
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Last year, the drive brought in more than 70 million pounds of food, officials said. The donations go to food banks in the area, or local branches of Feeding America, a national charity.
Some of the food collected around the area goes to the (CAP), located on Main Street in Brewster. Director Judy Callahan told Patch that the setup for this drive makes it easy for folks to contribute.
"You don't even have to make a special trip," she said. "You can just take things from your own pantry, as long as they're not expired."
Callahan also said the amount of food CAP has received in past years was "a big help" to local families in need.
"The need for food assistance continues to exist in every community in America, no matter how rich or poor," experts said in the release. "According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual study measuring food security in the U.S., the number of Americans living in food insecure homes reached nearly 49 million in 2011 (the most recent year that such data is available). Perhaps most alarming is the fact that more than 16 million children in America—more than 1 in 5—are faced with the prospect of hunger."