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      Letter carriers food drive donations exceed last year's totals

      Press Release - The 2010 Stamp Out Hunger letter carriers food drive on Saturday May 8th raised a total of 65,338 pounds for Harvest Hope in just one day, thanks to the hard work of volunteers, postal carriers and staff members, as well as the enormous generosity of postal customers.

      This number exceeds last year's total of 60,915 pounds of food by 4,423 pounds.

      Postal Carriers from every South Carolina town participated in the event, picking up donated food left by postal customers at their residential mail boxes.

      National Association of Letter Carrier employees turned the food in at twelve different post offices, stations and branches in the Columbia area and Florence for Harvest Hope Food Bank.

      Volunteers and Harvest Hope staff worked all day at each office to accept the donated food from the carriers before Harvest Hope trucks picked up and then delivered the donations to Harvest Hope facilities at 2220 Shop Road in Columbia and 2513 West Lucas Street in Florence.

      The Main Post Office at 1601 Assembly Street, a Carrier Annex for three of Columbia's ZIP Codes brought in the greatest amount with 9,675 pounds of food gathered on their loading dock throughout the day.

      "Each year the Stamp Out Hunger food drive goes far toward helping us meet our growing and incredible donation needs," said Harvest Hope CEO Denise Holland. "We are so fortunate to partner with the National Association of Letter Carriers and we appreciate their hard work and compassion in picking up food as they make their rounds."

      The annual event coordinates the efforts of the National Association of Letter Carriers and other organizations with food banks across the country to raise food for the hungry.

      While the total nationwide poundage for the May 8th Stamp Out Hunger food drive is not fully assessed, more than 19.7 million pounds of food have been tabulated so far from that event. The number pushing the total to more than one billion pounds donated in the 18 year history of the food drive.

      More than 1,000 branches across the country are still tabulating their totals, and a final amount will be announced on June 1st.

      Other organizations helping to sponsor the food drive were USPS, the Campbell Soup Company, Valpak, United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO and the Feeding America food bank network. The food drive was held in over 10,000 cities across the country.