More than 3,000 letter carriers throughout Oregon and Clark County, Wash., joined the letter carriers across America to collect donations of nonperishable food from their postal customers during the 22nd annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive, conducted on Saturday.

Collectively, they gathered 14,225.5 pounds of food from the various participating routes across the county. This was an 8 percent increase over the food drive in 2008. The food will be distributed to families in need in the postal area where the food was collected.

"It is a terrific collaborative effort between the postal service, the community and the food banking network here in Clatsop County," said Marlin Martin, food program developer for the Clatsop Community Action Regional Food Bank.

Martin urges residents to continue help. "Clatsop County has experienced a 40 percent increase in the distribution of emergency food boxes during the current fiscal year as compared to the same time last year. Our need is at record high levels."

For those who missed their letter carrier's daily visit, food donations can be dropped off at the CCA Regional Food Bank, located at 250 21st St., Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.

For information, or to make a cash donation, contact the CCA Regional Food Bank, 364 Ninth St., Astoria, OR 97103 or call (503) 325-1400.

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