RALEIGH — Even if you haven’t noticed any little brown plastic bags left by your mail carrier, you still have time to fill a bag with nonperishable food and put it by your mailbox on Saturday.
Your letter carrier will pick it up for their annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, held by the National Association of Letter Carriers, the U.S. Postal Service, Campbell’s Soup and other sponsors.
“It’s the largest one-day food collection effort in the country,” said Carl Walton, U.S. Postal Service district spokesman. He recommends donating foods that last, such as pasta, peanut butter, tuna or soup.
You don’t have to use bags provided by mail carriers. “We’ll take any kind of bag,” Walton said.
Most donations to food banks occur around Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it’s “crucial” to hold the food drive this time of year, said U.S. Postal Service spokesman Roy Bettis.
“By springtime,” Bettis said, “many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need.”
Last year, the drive collected 74 million pounds of food for the poor in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Bettis said. It’s collected more than a billion pounds of food since it began in 1992.
In the Triangle, most of the donated food will go to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. For more information, go to www.foodbankcenc.org.