BUFFALO, N.Y. — FeedMore Western New York receives millions of pounds of food donations every year. So, how does it get from the hands of generous donors, into the hands of people who need it? In honor of our Food 2 Families drive, we recently followed the food along the path.
"I think a lot of people when they here of FeedMore WNY's Food Bank program, they think of a really big food pantry," said Communications Director Catherine Shick. "But what we are is we are a distribution center that are partnering with our 300 agencies throughout our four county service area. Many of them food pantries, but also soup kitchens, shelters, group homes."
When donations come in to FeedMore WNY's warehouse facility on Holt Street, through food drives or individual donors, volunteers inspect and sort every can, box or bag received. Then, every single item is entered into FeedMore's online database, where member agencies can order what they need.
"Then, our team of warehouse crew will actually select the order, get it staged, wrapped, and ready for delivery. We will actually with our fleet of trucks deliver that product right to our agency's doorsteps," Shick said. The organization has twelve trucks that make deliveries 5 to 6 days a week.
The delivery we followed went to Community Missions in Niagara Falls. The organization provides meals, clothing, shelter and food to hundreds of families in the area. Once the truck pulls up, volunteers unload the food and sort it onto the food pantry's shelves.
"We have about 225 households that on a monthly basis are able to come and receive food," said Christian Hoffman, the agency's public relations and development director. "Probably 90 percent of the staples that we're able to give away, the canned goods, the meats, the cereal, the pasta. Those things, probably about 80-90% of that comes from the Food Bank."
Once the truck arrives to Community Missions, volunteers unpack it onto the food pantry shelves, before it's distributed to local families. It's a path of giving from one neighbor, to another.
"Your co-worker could be facing hunger. Your child's classmate. Or, you may know what is it like to face hunger someday. So, when you're helping these individuals by giving to events like Food 2 Families, or volunteering an hour of your time at our Food Bank program or our Meals on Wheels program, you're really touching the lives of your fellow neighbors in need," Shick said.
To learn more about opportunities to help FeedMore WNY, click here.
To learn more about opportunities to help Community Missions, click here.
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