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Be a part of Stamp Out Hunger effort

This Saturday offers a good reason to go out to the mailbox early — and take some important first-class items that will be picked up by the U.S. Postal Service but not to be mailed.

Saturday’s Stamp Out Hunger event is the nation’s largest single-day food drive, coordinated for 26 years by the National Association of Letter Carriers, the USPS and other partners.

In that roughly quarter-century, it has mushroomed into a national effort that in 2017 generated more than 71 million pounds of food for local food pantries, the 14th consecutive year that drew at least 70 million pounds, raising the total to more than 1.5 billion pounds since 1993.

“We are asking residents for their support to help make this another successful year,” Greater Michigan District Postal Manager Krista Finazzo said. “It’s easy to make a donation: simply leave a bag of nonperishable food items by the mailbox to help your neighbors in need.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 50 million Americans live with food insecurity, meaning they deal with hunger on a regular basis. Nearly 16 million of those are children, while almost 5 million are senior citizens who must weigh paying rent or utilities against having food.

As Finazzo says, participating in Saturday’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive is not difficult: Just leave a sturdy bag containing nonperishable food items — recommendations include canned soup, canned vegetables, peanut butter, pasta, rice or cereal — next to the mailbox before the regular mail delivery time for that day.

Letter carriers then will collect these food donations as they deliver the mail Saturday and take them to local food banks.

Really, it could not be much simpler to help others in the community have enough to eat.

For more information about the Stamp Out Hunger food drive, go online to www.nalc.org/community-service/food-drive.

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