By Jennifer McRae

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– The largest food drive in the nation is on track for Saturday. The National Association of Letter Carriers is bringing back its Stamp Out Hunger food drive after a two-year hiatus for the pandemic.

(credit: CBS)

Anyone can leave non-perishable food items at the mailbox on Saturday, May 14 and mail carriers will pick them up and deliver them to food banks to help people in need.

People living in neighborhoods with community mailboxes can still leave bags of food near the mailboxes and it will be picked up on Saturday.

(credit: CBS)

One carrier said the food drive is important to him because his family relied on support when he was a child.

“One in eight people require food assistance. So, I generally count out eight people and I know that one of those may rely on food assistance for their family,” said USPS Letter Carrier Jeff Frey.

“We have the COVID effect and we have the rising cost of food, gas housing, that’s really changing the landscape of who needs food support,” said Carolyn Alexander with the Action Center in Lakewood.

(credit: CBS)

Before COVID, the Action Center served 60 to 70 households a day and now they serve 250 households. The National Association of Letter Carriers hopes to collect 50,000 to 60,000 pounds of food for the Action Center this weekend.

Mail carriers expect to bring in 500,000 pounds of food in the Denver metro area this year.

Additional Information from the National Association of Letter Carriers:

WHAT TO GIVE: Most-wanted foods include:
• Canned meats (tuna, chicken, salmon)
• Canned and boxed meals (soup, chili, stew, macaroni, and cheese)
• Canned or dried beans and peas (black, pinto, lentils)
• Pasta, rice cereal
• Canned fruits
• 100 percent fruit juice (canned, plastic or boxed)
• Canned vegetables
• Cooking oil
• Boxed cooking mixes (pancake, breads)
WHAT NOT TO GIVE:
• Rusty or unlabeled cans
• Glass containers
• Perishable items
• Homemade items
• No expired items
• Noncommercial canned or packaged items
• Alcoholic beverages or mixes or soda
• Open or used items

Jennifer McRae