Collecting food for the hungry will be Ridgefield\u2019s letter carriers\u2019 other job as they deliver mail on their appointed rounds Saturday. The National Letter Carriers Association\u2019s \u201cStamp Out Hunger\u201d food drive, a one-day nationwide effort, is planned this Saturday, May 13. The crew at Ridgefield\u2019s post office is hoping to improve upon last year\u2019s results \u2014 which were a little disappointing. \u201cWe were down to barely 6,000 pounds of food, compared to 12,000 we usually do,\u201d said Brian Hamilton, the letter carrier who organizes the drive in Ridgefield. \u201cIt was a tough year last year, and we\u2019ve been trying to figure out why.\u201d Ridgefield residents are being asked to leave cans and boxes of groceries at their mailboxes. \u201cLeave non-perishable food items, anything like soup, canned vegetables, dried goods like rice, pastas,\u201d Hamilton said. \u201cWe\u2019ll take stuff that\u2019s in glass, and pack it carefully, but really what we\u2019re looking for is non-perishable stuff. \u201cIf you\u2019ve got a couple of cans, leave it in the mailbox,\u201d he said. The letter carriers do the pickup on their normal rounds of delivering mail, so food can be put out in the morning \u2014 before 10, for people near the start of routes \u2014 or left at the mailbox the night before. \u201cWe start early in the morning, but we all hit the road about 10 a.m.,\u201d Hamilton said. \u201cThere\u2019ll be 27 routes going out. We have rural routes and city carriers.\u201d The national postal carriers\u2019 food drive has roots that go back 25 years. \u201cIt started in a smaller post office out in the Midwest somewhere and then it grew and grew and grew,\u201d Hamilton said. \u201cIt wasn\u2019t a very big thing in the beginning. It\u2019s a union-based thing,\u201d he said. \u201cIt started with just one post office just wanting to take care of their own.\u201d The food drive spread from one union local to another and grew into a statewide and then a national effort. \u201cIt\u2019s 15 years for Ridgefield,\u201d Hamilton said. \u201cMost of the town really donates. A lot of times you drive up and there\u2019s two ginormous plastic garbage bags full of stuff,\u201d he said. \u201cWe\u2019ve got a lot of people who donate tremendous amounts \u2014 they actually go out and shop. \u201cThe people in town are just phenomenal when it comes to donations,\u201d Hamilton said. And there is need \u2014 yes, here in Ridgefield. \u201cWe all have this special bond with our customers. I see quite a bit of need out there,\u201d Hamilton said. \u201cAs much as this is a wealthy town, there are a lot of seniors struggling. Just the taxes! Imagine what they get for Social Security, if they retired 20, 25 years ago.\u201d The food collected here is distributed locally \u2014 much of it in Danbury or in other nearby towns where there is need.