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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – After two years without a canned food drive, the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive returned to North Alabama. Thousands of pounds of donated food arrived at the Food Bank of North Alabama on Saturday.

“There’s about 165,000 people in our 11 county service area that are food insecure, which means they may not know where their next meal is coming from,” said Food Bank of North Alabama Chief Operating Officer Joshua Matthews.

The Stamp Out Hunger event is a partnership between the local postal service and the Food Bank of North Alabama.

Gerald Leonard is a postal worker who has volunteered with the food drive for 13 years.

“It’s a great opportunity to share with one another, especially to help those that are less fortunate than us,” Gerald said.

This year marks the 30th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, and the event remains one of the food bank’s largest drives of the year. The donations collected will contribute to thousands of free meals handed out over 11 counties in Alabama.

The COVID-19 pandemic kept the Food Bank of North Alabama from hosting a physical canned foods drive for the past two years. Food Bank of North Alabama CEO Shirley Schofield said the organization has had to scale back the amount of food they pass out to families.

“This is the fewest canned goods we’ve ever had in our food bank,” Schofield said.

Schofield said Saturday’s food drive will make a big difference, but she hopes others will considering donating. The Food Bank of North Alabama accepts donations of canned foods. You can also make a monetary contribution online.