BUFFALO - Customers of nine local retailers helped make a record donation during the 21st annual "Check Out Hunger" drive, the Food Bank of Western New York's largest annual fund raiser. This year, $752,931 was collected, which was nearly a 2 percent increase from last year.
The participating retailers were Dash's Market, Lexington Co-Operative, Market in the Square, NOCO Express, the Premier Group, Premier Gourmet, Price Rite, Tops Friendly Markets and Wegmans. Shoppers had a choice of adding $2, $3 or $5 to their grocery bill.
The funds collected from the campaign enable us to distribute 3.8 million meals to individuals and families served by the Food Bank's 343 member agencies located throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties.
"We offer heartfelt thanks to all of our retail partners, their customers and cashiers for the success of this campaign!" said Marylou Borowiak, President and CEO of the Food Bank of WNY. "It was their enthusiasm and desire to make a difference for their neighbors that will help us provide support to the 36,000 families who rely on our services each month.
"What makes 'Check Out Hunger' such a great promotion for the Food Bank is the opportunity it gives us to not only generate funds but increase the awareness of hunger in our community," Borowiak added. "The funds from this campaign go a long way in helping with our mission of fighting hunger in the four counties we serve."
The Food Bank of WNY, Inc. is the primary hunger relief organization in Western New York, obtaining and then distributing food to its member agencies such as pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, after school programs and senior citizen centers. 41,000 of those served are children and 9,000 are senior citizens. The Food Bank of WNY, Inc. is one of approximately 200 members of Feeding America, the nation's food bank network.