COLUMBIA — Letter carriers will be picking up food donations on May 14 as part of an annual food drive.
Letter carriers will leave blue food collection bags at mailboxes starting Monday and continuing throughout the week. Residents can fill the bags with nonperishable food items and leave them by their mailboxes for pickup Saturday.
The food will be donated to the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri in Columbia.
This is the 19th annual drive put on by the National Association of Letter Carriers. Last year, the association collected more than 230,000 pounds of food in Columbia alone, said Cheryl Hudson, customer relations coordinator for the U.S. Postal Service. She said this year organizers hope to reach 300,000 pounds.
Each bag will also have an envelope for those who choose to donate cash instead of food.
"Each dollar donated will give $20 worth of food," Hudson said.
"The number of Americans living in homes lacking sufficient food topped 50 million in 2009," Chris Reed, the president of the mid-Missouri branch of the association, said in a news release. He said that statistic is a 30 percent increase from the previous year.