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By Kimberly Kerr, SNJ Today Reporter | PENNSAUKEN, N.J. –

Mail carriers across the nation and right here in South Jersey are getting ready to do more than just deliver mail this weekend. Saturday, May 13th, will mark the 25th annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

“It shows that the carriers do more than just deliver mail,” says Charlie Balmos, a carrier from the Willingboro Post Office. “We also give back. It’s just a good thing to do for anybody that is going hungry.”

Many people gathered at the Food Bank of South Jersey Friday morning to kick off the annual food drive.

“This is the largest public food drive that we have in the county,” says Val Traore, president and CEO of the Food Bank of South Jersey. “It’s not only us participating in this, there [are] about 215 other food banks and letter carriers.”

“I know it’s going to rain tomorrow here, but hopefully we can break the record,” says Balmos. “We always strive to break the previous year’s record. Then it shows that more and more people are giving.”

The idea is to make donating food easy. This way more people will do it.

We always strive to break the previous year’s record. Then it shows that more and more people are giving.

“It’s so simple,” says Traore. “Just put a bag of food out and your letter carrier will pick that up, bring that into a food bank, that then goes out that next day to a family or an individual in need.”

Just last year, the one-day food drive brought in almost a quarter million pounds of food to the food bank in Pennsuaken and 80 million pounds nationally.

“We’re doing something really good, that’s all,” says Balmos. “It’s really a nice thing for the community and all the people give, too. The food we pick up in Willingboro is probably about 10 to 12,000 pounds.”

“I can’t even imagine not having this group work with us for so long,” says Traore. “Twenty-five years these guys continue to do this for us — it’s amazing,”

Anyone who wants to donate can fill up a bag and put it out this Saturday, May 13th.

“Put food in a bag — nonperishable items; put it by [your] mailbox and the carrier will pick it up. That’s all they have to do,” says Balmos.

“Don’t forget us. Put the bag out on Saturday and help a family in need,” says Traore.

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