Maryland postal workers overcame a slow start to collect more food than last year in their annual house-to-house drive, which ended yesterday.
As of late Friday, food donations for the Harvest for the Hungry campaign reached 443,440 pounds, an increase from last year's collection of 398,000 pounds, said Larry Adam Jr., the Harford County investment broker who founded the food campaign.
The drive, conducted by 3,000 letter carriers, was extended two weeks in a bid to boost donations.
Only about 200,000 pounds had been collected when the drive was due to end in mid-March.
The food was collected from nearly 1.3 million households in the Baltimore district of the Postal Service.
The letter carriers' collection is one of the largest in the annual Harvest for the Hungry campaign, which has raised more than 1 million pounds for food banks throughout the state.
Mr. Adam said it was especially welcome because corporate-sponsored food drives have raised 25 percent less this year than last.