Published: May 09, 2010 12:10 AM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Letter carriers across Lee County are stamping out hunger at the 18th annual letter carrier food drive.  Postal workers wer collecting food on their routes all day long.

Early estimates show letter carriers in Lee County collected hundreds and thousands of pounds of food Saturday; all of it goes to the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.

People put out food by their mailboxes, which letter carriers pick up and bring back to the post office.  About three hundred volunteers worked all day sorting through the donated food, separating it.

Everyone involved in this project says it's a huge success, and will help thousands of families in the area.

"I think it's a great thing. I'm glad we can do it.  We are happy to do this," said letter carrier Mitch Moskowitz.

"This is very critical. This is our biggest food drive of the year," said Joyce Jacobs of the Harry Chapin Food Bank.  "It helps out get through the summer."

Saturday's letter carrier drive is part of a national effort.  Post offices across the country are participating.