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Grand Forks Letter Carriers 'Stamp Out Hunger'

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - It's the largest single-day food drive nationwide. 10,000 cities participated in the letter carrier food drive Stamp Out Hunger.

And here in the upper mid-west, volunteers in Grand Forks were hoping to collect the most food in the entire state for the second year in a row.

"Some of 'em are pretty heavy," said a mail carrier.

Every year on the second Saturday in May, Marilyn Erickson gets in her car and drives around Grand Forks.

Not for fun, although she says she enjoys it. But to lighten the letter carrier's load and collect bags filled with food for families in need as part of the nationwide drive.

"People like us, the spouses and retired carriers, they all come out to help because it's a big day and everyone's concerned about the guy that's hungry," said volunteer Marilyn Erickson.

This year 100 volunteers went out in hopes they could collect more than last year's load which was 53,000 pounds of food.

"I'm about half done with my route and I had to come back and dump because I had no more room to put anything," said letter carrier, Tim McDonald.

"City carriers, rural carriers, people on their time off, retired people, the volunteers, the food banks--they're all helping out," said food drive coordinator, Ralph Honda.

After the letter carriers drop off the food, volunteers sort through each item to get the boxes ready for delivery.

"It's great to see the people in this town step up and do the right thing. It's an easy process, all they gotta do is set it by their mailbox," said McDonald.

But even if the city only collected one can this year, event coordinator Ralph Honda says he'd still be ecstatic.

"No matter how much we pick up the need is greater than the gain," said Honda.

"We'll take whatever we can get," said McDonald.

People say its a simple reminder every year of the generous people who live in Grand Forks.

"It's exciting to see that people are willing to share their bounty with someone who has less," said Erickson.

Last year the food drive surpassed the 1 billion mark in food collected nationwide.