HESPERIA • Local letter carriers will be doing more than delivering Mother's Day cards this weekend.
United States Postal Service vans will be collecting little blue bags filled with donated food on Saturday, during the 20th annual letter carriers food drive. According to the USPS, the drive is the nation's largest one-day food collection.
"The postal service takes the food drive very seriously," Hesperia postmaster Donald Prater.
The San Diego postal district, of which the High Desert is a part, collected more than 1 million pounds of food during last year's drive.
"There's nothing like, after the food drive, when you see the people coming to get the food and knowing there's so much need out there," Prater said.
Nineteen area churches are working with local post offices to distribute the food, according to Josette Meals, a letter carrier in Apple Valley and the regional coordinator for the event. Meals said they try to collect enough food to last through the summer, when families won't have access to subsidized meals.
Picking up loads of canned and dry goods from postal customers can be back-breaking labor, but Prater says the letter carriers take it in stride.
"That's one of the reasons we do it on a Saturday," he said. "Generally, it's a lighter day."
The blue bags used for food donations will start showing up in area mailboxes later this week.