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 fundraiser.
This year, $752,931 was collected, 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 money collected from the campaign will help pay to distribute 3.8 million meals to individuals and families served by the Food Bank of Western New York'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 chief executive officer 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. 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.
Those served include 41,000 children and 9,000 senior citizens. The Food Bank of WNY Inc. is one of 200 members of Feeding America, the nation's food bank network.