Huntsville, Ala. – On the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country pick up donations of non-perishable food items to be given to families in need.

All donations stay local and Huntsville-area letter carriers hope you’ll take part in this year’s event on Saturday, May 11.

To participate in the 27th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, just set out your non-perishable food well before your letter carrier’s normal pick-up time. The earlier the better!

He or she will be delivering and collecting mail as usual, on top of collecting food donations, so that pickup time could be slightly later than usual. Your letter carrier might also have helpers. A good rule of thumb is to have the bags by your mailbox by 9:00a.m.

No special bags are needed. Paper is sturdy and tends to hold more food, while plastic holds up better if it gets wet.

If you’re looking for ideas on what to donate, for the top requested non-perishable food items are: cereal, pasta, pasta sauce or spaghetti sauce, rice, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meals (such as soups, chili and pasta), 100% juice, peanut butter, macaroni & cheese, canned protein (tuna, chicken and turkey), and beans (canned or dry).

Stamp Out Hunger takes place in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America. Please note, though, that participation is strictly voluntary, and no system is perfect. If your donation is not picked up, contact your local post office or simply place your donation by your mailbox on Monday instead. Letter carriers will be picking up missed donations on Monday, too.