Postal workers gather food donations on routesby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — About 2,000 letter carriers throughout the Twin Cities metro area today hope to pick up as much as 1.3 million pounds of food.
It's the 20th Annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive, and the National Association of Letter Carriers is asking the public to leave bags of non-perishable, non-breakable food items by their mailbox for letter carriers to pick up and deliver. Last year, postal workers in the seven-county metro area collected more than 839,000 pounds of food.
Second Harvest Heartland food bank CEO Bob Chatmas says the Stamp Out Hunger drive is successful in part because postal carriers make it convenient.
"The way they make it easy. The way all you have to do is put it by your mailbox and they'll come by and pick it up," Chatmas said. "And deliver it to one of 23 Cub Foods locations that'll be collection sites. It's a huge part of why this is so successful."
Chatmas says his food bank needs canned goods, boxed rice and cereals, and sealed jars of peanut butter.
"We don't have another day that rivals the 1.3 million pounds that we're targeting," Chatmas said. "For the work that the letter carriers do and the food that's donated and how it's injected into hunger relief across the country and across our state it is the biggest day of the year."