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The Growing Role of the Food Bank


We’re always looking to help the Food Bank of Western New York keep its shelves stocked, and one of the ways it does is through various food drives, including the Food 2 Families campaign along with Tops markets and Channel 2.

Each month, nearly 100,000 people depend on public assistance for food. Of that number, 39 percent are children and 8 percent are seniors.

The Food Bank was established in 1978, and after five years, it had distributed 1 million pounds of food to the needy. In another two years, they had distributed 5 million pounds of food, and by 1989, the Food Bank was so busy, they moved from a 10,000-square foot warehouse on Seneca Street to the present location on Holt Street, where they have a 37,000-square foot warehouse and a 70,000-square foot freezer. It was also in 1989 when the Food Bank began distributing a million pounds of food a month.

The Food Bank distributes food to some 340 member agencies that feed the less fortunate in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara Counties. These are child care centers, food pantries, group homes, senior programs, shelters, soup kitchens and summer camps. Every year, the Food Bank of WNY provides more than 13 million pounds of food across the four counties it serves.

The Food Bank is supported by private donations as well as grants from corporations, foundations and state and federal grants. Every dollar donated to the Food Bank provides approximately six pounds of food, or five meals.

Back in 2009, the Food Bank of Western New York was voted the “Best Non-Profit Charity” in Buffalo.

If you need assistance, you can contact the Food Bank to a find an agency that’s closest to you.

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