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Postal workers to collect food for needy

Long Islanders on Saturday are asked to leave bags containing canned foods, cereal, pasta and other nonperishables near their mailboxes for pickup by postal workers in what organizers said is the nation's largest one-day food drive.

The 20th annual Stamp Out Hunger event -- a collaboration between union groups, hunger-relief organizations and the U.S. Postal Service -- will benefit about 570 food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency feeding programs on Long Island, organizers said.

"It is the good deeds of the entire community on this one day of the year that brings us together in a common cause," Walter Barton, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Long Island Merged, Branch 6000, said in a statement.

Long Islanders last year donated 450,000 pounds of food, supplementing 375,000 meals, according to Island Harvest, a Mineola-based hunger-relief group. Last year's nationwide total of food collected was more than 70 million pounds, the National Association of Letter Carriers said.

Volunteers can help sort food from Saturday through Wednesday at a Brentwood warehouse. Register at stampouthungerli

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