USPS encourages public to aid in today's Stamp Out Hunger food drive

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Postal carriers typically spend their days trying to ensure the public receives its mail.

But, one day a year U.S. Postal Service employees break from the usual routine to participate in what has become the single largest one-day food drive in the country.

Stamp Out Hunger takes place today and Craig letter carriers are asking local residents to help the hungry.

“This is all about the entire Postal Service coming together to help our neighbors,” local coordinator Barb Sholes said in a news release.

“We see struggling people all around us and we’re counting on postal customers to step up, like they have in the past, to meet the ever-growing need.”

Postal workers will walk their usual routes today to pick up donations, which customers may place in a plastic bag and set next to their mailboxes for collection.

Customers may also drop off donations in the lobby of the Craig Post Office, 556 Pershing St., and at the Hamilton Post Office, 17436 Colorado Highway 13.

USPS is asking for nonperishable goods such as dried, canned or packaged products.

Items local food banks need most include canned meats, soup, fruits, and vegetables, and packaged nonperishables like pasta, cereal, powdered milk, and vegetables.

Every 1.3 pounds of donated food equates to one meal, USPS officials said, and all donations will go to local food banks to benefit community families in need.

USPS employees have collected nearly one billion pounds of food since Stamp Out Hunger began in 1993, according to the release.

More than 10,000 communities and post offices in all 50 states participate in the annual food drive.

In 2011, Craig customers contributed more than 3,500 pounds of food toward Colorado’s 693,000-pound total.

“This is all about neighbors helping neighbors," Sholes said in the release. “Every other day I deliver the mail, but on this day, I get to deliver hope.”

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