PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- Mail carriers around the nation took part in the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, marking the 27th year of the event being nationwide.

What turned into the largest one-day food drive in the world, started 40 years ago in Arizona.

It began with Glendale, Ariz. mail carriers who decided to collect food for the St. Mary's Food Bank.

[WATCH: Arizona mail carriers want to 'stamp out' hunger]

The Peoria post office is one of the 30 locations in the state that collected food donations.

Jerry Brown of St. Mary's Food Bank says they collected 200 to 400 pounds worth of food last year.

"We heard the number may be up this year," said Brown.

With more food yet to be weighed in, St. Mary's already received more than 320,000 pounds of food this year.

Brown explained how the food drive works.

"We ask folks to leave food by their mailbox this morning. Every year it's the Saturday before Mother's Day," he said. "They pick it up on their route. There's a lot of volunteers here to help them get it all ready to go."

Those who missed making donations on Saturday will have another opportunity. 

On Monday, May 13, people can still leave food at their mailbox to be collected and added to the final total.

"The letter carriers will pick it up Monday," said Brown.

With summer coming, Brown explains why this food drive is the most important for St. Mary's Food Bank.

"The electric bills are going up higher. We get less donations in the summertime than any other time," said Brown. "So this drive is a make or break drive for food banks. Not only in Arizona but across the country."


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