SPARTA The letter carriers of United States Postal Service, of Sparta, picked up more than letters last Saturday. They collected non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes and in post office. Sparta residents had received a postcard weeks in advance reminding them of the upcoming food drive. Residents were encouraged to leave a bag of food in their mailbox on Saturday before their regularly scheduled mail delivery. Carriers en-route brought these donations to the post office where the food was sorted with help of other carriers, Mike Ferro, Kathleen Russo and Steve Maylanth, and volunteers from Pope John High School. Ferro said that Sparta Post Office chose to participate on a volunteer basis in the National Association of Letter Carrier’s (NALC) Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive, the largest one-day food drive in the nation. This food drive has become one of the most important food drives of the year for food pantries and soup kitchens to stock their shelves for early summer months. Collected food items were distributed to participating food pantries of First Presbyterian Church, Sparta, First Baptist Church, Newton, Good Shepherd Church, Andover and Harvest Food, Ogdensburg.