Saturday marks the 27th year for the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

Post offices in Cache and Franklin counties are joining others around the nation to participate, and letter carriers will collect food on their routes for those in need.

To donate, residents may leave nonperishable food donations in a bag next to their mailboxes prior to mail delivery on Saturday, according to a Postal Service news release. Letter carriers and volunteers will collect the food and deliver it to local food banks and pantries.

The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has collected more than 1.6 billion pounds of food since its inception, the release states. Last year 71.6 million pounds of nonperishable food was donated nationwide, including nearly 700,000 pounds in Utah and 300,000 pounds in Idaho.

The food drive’s timing is crucial, the release states. Food banks typically receive the bulk of their donations during the holidays. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need.

While all nonperishable donations are welcome, foods that are high in protein such as canned tuna, salmon, beans and peanut butter are most needed, the release states.

For more information, visit stampouthungerfooddrive.us.