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‘Stamp out Hunger’ food drive today

Residents of Andalusia can do their part to help fight hunger in Covington County by participating in Saturday’s “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.

On that day, residents can leave non-perishable food items in a bag or box next to their mailboxes. Postal workers will pick up the packages when they make their daily routes to deliver mail.

“The mail carriers will collect the food and distribute it in the local area to charities that have food bank operations,” said Terry Hughes, officer in charge at the Andalusia Post Office.

Residents are asked to leave only non-perishable food items, such as peanut butter, tuna and other canned meats as well as soups. Do not include food items that have expired or are in glass containers. In addition, letter carriers can not accept any monetary donations.

“They can’t take money,” Hughes said. “If someone wants to donate money, then they should give that donation to one of our local food banks.”

Citizens may also drop off non-perishable items at the post office Saturday.

According to a United States Postal Service press release, the National Letter Carriers “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive is the largest one-day food drive in the nation, and collected more than 73 million pounds of food in 2008. This is the 17th year for the drive, which is always held on the second Saturday in May.

To date, the drive has collected more than 909 million pounds of food. It is sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers, Campbell’s Soup, the USPS, Feeding America, the United Way and the AFL-CIO.

Donations will be collected by more than 1,400 local branches of the 300,000-member postal union and delivered to food banks, pantries and shelters that serve the communities where they are collected. Assisting in the effort are rural letter carriers and other postal employees, as well as members of other unions and thousands of civic volunteers.

For more information about the “Stamp Out Hunger” campaign, visit www.helpstampouthunger.com.