While USPS letter carriers are out on their routes, they arent just delivering mail they are also picking up bags filled with nonperishable food items.

Each year on the second Saturday of May, the National Association of Letter Carriers hosts its nationwide food drive, Stamp Out Hunger, which benefits local communities.

The collected items in the Tucson area go to the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.

Letter Carrier Amber Underwood has been part of the tradition for 29 years now. While its always a busy day of work for her, she explained that it is well worth it.

Underwood said, “Its completely exciting because when I drive down the street and I see the bags hanging on the mail boxes, were like, ‘Woo-hoo! Yay! We got a lot of food!'”

The single-day food drive typically brings in around 200,000 pounds of food, the largest food drive of the year.

Their goal for 2024 was 250,000 pounds of food.

The food banks CEO, Malea Chavez said the collected goods should last them through about October.

“The food that we bring in helps us sustain through the summer months,” she explained. “We experience a big peak after the holiday season, during the summer when kids are home and out of school.”

Chavez also said they have seen about a 30 percent increase in need in Southern Arizona this year compared to last, and believes it takes the whole community to make it a successful event.

“Just knowing how caring our community is is heartwarming,” Chavez noted. “And theres a lot of gratitude within our whole team.”