The annual Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 11. It is the largest single-day food drive in the country, and a chance for Northland residents to help neighbors facing food insecurity. Last year, the food drive collected more than 100,000 pounds of donations across the region.

Everyone is encouraged to fill one or more bags with non-perishable, unexpired, unopened food and place them by their mailboxes by 9 a.m. Saturday. Volunteers will help letter carriers collect the donations and distribute them to local food pantries.

The food drive takes place in the spring because families that rely on school meal programs won't necessarily have access to that service in the summer. That could cause more families to turn to food shelves for help.

The most needed items include high proteins and cupboard necessities including canned meat, peanut butter, jelly, oatmeal, cereal, pasta, rice, canned vegetables and canned fruits.

Donors are asked not to give food that is expired, unlabeled or dented cans, opened food items, produce or homemade food.

In addition to donations, volunteers are needed to collect food the day of the event. Email to help.