Letter carriers

Mike Robles, a Sun City letter carrier, unloads food donations during a previous “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.

Daily News-Sun file photo

All it takes is a quick trip to your mailbox to participate in Arizona’s largest single-day food drive, one which helps St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and Valley View Community Food Bank in Youngtown survive during the long, hot summer.

On Saturday, more than 230,000 letter carriers nationwide, including more than 5,000 in the Valley, will collect canned food donations on their regular mail routes during the 19th annual National Association of Letter Carriers “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.

In 2010, Arizona letter carriers collected more than 2 million pounds of nonperishable food, including almost 1 million pounds collected in the Valley and more than 400,000 pounds benefiting St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

Valley View Community Food Bank also will receive donations from the National Association of Letter Carriers food drive.

Throughout this week, letter carriers have been dropping off reminder post cards and special grocery bags in mailboxes. The letter carriers encourage those who can help to fill the bags, or any other grocery bag, with nonperishable food items and leave them by their mailboxes Saturday morning.

Your letter carrier will do the rest, making sure the food gets to the one in five Arizonans — and one in four children — dealing with hunger issues in our state.

Food demand increases with children out of school while donations dwindle with many Arizona residents escaping to cooler climates.

Items most needed by the food banks include canned fruit and soups, pasta, peanut butter, 100 percent fruit juice (in plastic bottles), canned meat, rice and cereal.

For more information, visit www.helpstampouthunger.org.

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