Letter carriers across Lawrence will have heavy mail sacks on Saturday -- and not just from Mothers' Day cards.
The Lawrence post offices will participate in the National Association of Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger drive, one of the largest single-day food drives in the nation. Letter carriers will be picking up non-perishable food as they deliver the mail along their routes.
Last year, the drive brought in 73 million pounds of food across the nation, said Kris Fox, local food drive coordinator.
``It's a lot of work, but it's really a neat feeling,'' Fox said. ``We take out extra tubs and sort the food on our routes.''
If too many donations are left in one area, the carriers drive back by to pick them up.
Though it takes extra effort, Fox says the drive doesn't make carriers late.
In years past, the food drive has brought in up to 16,000 pounds of food in Lawrence.
``It's pretty satisfying to see it all pile up,'' Fox said. ``It's just like a mountain of food back there. All people have to do is put food by their mailboxes and we'll pick it up on our routes.''
Fox said that participation varies from route to route; some have 25 percent donate, others have 75 percent.
Donations should be left beside the mailbox. They also may be dropped off at the main post office, 645 Vt., or at the Jayhawk Station, 1091 W. 31st, until 5 p.m. Volunteers from the charities receiving food will sort and box the donations, and the National Guard will deliver it.
Donations will be distributed to the Ballard Community Center, Penn House, the Lawrence Indian Center, the Salvation Army and ECKAN. The drive also is sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service and the United Way of Douglas County.
-- Felicia Haynes' phone message number is 832-7173. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.