South Carolina mail carriers collected more than a quarter of a million pounds of food for the needy last month, the U.S. Postal Service announced.

The National Association of Letter Carriers' annual food drive was held May 8 to restock community food banks and pantries. It's billed as the nation's biggest one-day food drive.

This year's collection of 73.4 million pounds across the nation was a record, surpassing the 2008 total of 73.1 million pounds.

"This is an amazing testimony to the generosity of the American people even as they themselves struggle to make ends meet in these hard times," Association President William H. Young said.

In South Carolina, 939 city carriers and 1,455 rural carriers teamed up with volunteers to collect and deliver 273,305 pounds of food, according to Harry Spratlin, communications coordinator for the Postal Service in Columbia.

In Charleston, the Lowcountry Food Bank received 80,710 pounds, down from 100,008 pounds last year.

More food that was not included in the state totals also was collected at smaller rural post offices and turned over to local churches, charities and food pantries, Spratlin said.