MAHOMET -- With the help of sponsors, volunteer organizations and U.S. Postal Service employees in 10,000 communities nationwide, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will conduct its 26th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive -- the nation’s largest single-day food drive -- on Saturday, according to a press release.

Mahomet's Helping Hands is in need of donations.

“We’re proud to continue this community tradition as we prepare for the 26th annual food drive,” said Postmaster Sara Houston. “We’re asking residents for their support to help make this another successful year. It’s easy to make a donation: simply leave a bag of nonperishable food items by the mailbox to help your neighbors in need.”

Those who prefer may donate to the local food pantry ($1 can help purchase $10 worth of food at the Eastern Illinois Food Bank) by sending a dollar donation to Helping Hands, 203 E. Adam St, P.O. Box 254, Mahomet, Il, 61853.

Making a donation is easy. Customers should leave their non-perishable food donations in a bag near their mailbox on Saturday, May 11, before their letter carrier arrives. In the days leading up to the food drive, letter carriers will be delivering special bags and /or cards along with your mail that may be used to make donations. Food collected during Saturday’s drive will be delivered to your local Mahomet Helping Hands Food Pantry for distribution.

While all non-perishable donations are welcome, foods that are high in protein such as canned tuna, salmon, beans and peanut butter are most needed. Canned fruits and vegetables, whole grain, low sugar cereals, macaroni and cheese dinners and 100% fruit juice also top the list of most needed items.

Food Drive TIPS

WHAT TO GIVE: Most-wanted foods include:

• Canned meats (tuna, chicken, salmon).

• Canned and boxed meals (soup, chili, stew, macaroni and cheese).

• Canned or dried beans and peas (black, pinto, lentils).

• Pasta, rice cereal.

• Canned fruits.

• 100 percent fruit juice (canned, plastic or boxed).

• Canned vegetables.

• Cooking oil.

• Boxed cooking mixes (pancake, breads).

WHAT NOT TO GIVE:

• Rusty or unlabeled cans.

• Glass containers.

• Perishable items.

• Homemade items.

• No expired items

• Noncommercial canned or packaged items.

• Alcoholic beverages or mixes or soda.

• Open or used items.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses for this food drive.