Saturday marks the 27th year for the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

Participating Idaho Post Offices and letter carriers will collect food on their routes for those in need. Eastern Idaho postal offices, including Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Preston and Rexburg, are taking part.

To donate, leave nonperishable food donations in a bag next to your mailbox prior to mail delivery on Saturday, a Postal Service news release said. Letter carriers and volunteers will collect the food and deliver it to local food banks and pantries.

The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has collected more than 1.6 billion pounds of food since its inception, the release said. Last year 71.6 million pounds of nonperishable food was donated nationwide, including nearly 300,000 pounds in Idaho.

The food drive’s timing is crucial, the release said. Food banks typically receive the bulk of their donations during the holidays. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need, the release said.

While all nonperishable donations are welcome, foods that are high in protein such as canned tuna, salmon, beans and peanut butter are most needed, the release said.

For information, visit stampouthungerfooddrive.us.

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