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CHARLESTON  -- Kanawha Valley residents can help fight hunger in the region by simply placing non-perishable food donations by their mailboxes on Saturday, May 9, that will be collected by letter carriers and distributed locally to those in need.

“Many of our neighbors, including seniors, veterans and children, go hungry every day,” noted Letter Carrier and Charleston resident Cathy Jones. “For 22 years, letter carriers across the country have organized this effort to help food pantries stock their shelves, and to increase awareness of this ongoing problem.”

The Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is the nation's largest single-day drive. In 2014, 72.5 million pounds of food was collected, which brought the grand total of donations to more than 1.3 billion pounds of food collected since the drive began in 1992.

Last year, the Charleston-area Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive collected over 50,000 pounds of food from local residents, noted Jones, who is a member of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 531.

Food collected from Kanawha Valley residents will be delivered and distributed to local food banks by the United Food Operation (UFO), a non-profit organization housed in Nitro that relies entirely on donations and volunteers. UFO will truck the donated food from the Charleston Post Office to its distribution center at the Institute Industrial Park, then volunteers will divide the food among 12 participating food pantries in Kanawha and Putnam counties.

For the first time this year, letter carriers will distribute bags for food donations supplied by the United Mine Workers of America.

“Just put canned goods and other non-perishable food in a bag – either the ones we provide or in any other available bag -- and set it out by your mailbox,” Jones said. “We’ll take it from there.”

For a list of the 12 participating food pantries, go to and click on “2015 Food Pantry List.”