The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) encourages residents to help them address the hunger crisis by participating in the nation's largest single-day food drive on Saturday.

The NALC will conduct its 26th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive Saturday. As they deliver mail, 175,000 letter carriers will collect the donations.

"Customers simply leave their donation of non-perishable goods next to their mailbox before the delivery of the mail; it is suggested by 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 12," NALC officials said in a news release. "Letter carriers will collect these food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes along with volunteers and CAPCA (Community Action Program for Central Arkansas) staff and distribute them to CAPCA in Conway."

The annual food drive is conducted each year on the second Saturday in May in 10,000 cities nationwide as well as in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam.

"With the economic struggles many Americans face, the Letter Carriers' Food Drive is as critical as ever," NALC officials said. "Not only do millions of Americans go hungry, organizations that help them are in need of replenishment. These donations are vital to the operation of CAPCA's food pantry and the families we serve."

Hunger affects around 50 million people around the U.S., including millions of children, senior citizens and veterans, according to the NALC.

"People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag — paper or plastic — containing non-perishable foods, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, canned meats and fish, pasta, peanut butter, rice or cereal next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery on Saturday," NALC said.

Since the first Stamp Out Hunger in 1993, the drive has garnered more than 1.5 billion pounds of food. Last year, Faulkner County residents donated more than 29,000 pounds of food.

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