BUFFALO, N.Y. — 'Tis the season of giving, but for 13-year-old Samantha Sulkowski of Orchard Park, giving to Feedmore WNY is a year-round endeavor.
"Sam is an awesome volunteer. She just brings so much energy and enthusiasm to the work that she does. She always goes above and beyond," said Anne McKenna, Chief Communications Officer of FeedMore WNY, which is a collaboration of the Food Bank of WNY and Meals on Wheels.
Sam is quiet and shy, but her actions speak volumes. For the past 3 years, she's been accompanying her mom, Lisa, to the FoodBank of WNY warehouse to sort through food donations, check the quality and expiration dates, and box them up for needy families. She also volunteers at other FeedMore WNY events and programs.
"It's upsetting that some people don't have anything to eat. Everyone deserves food on the table," said Sam. "I want to spread the joy around."
Joy is what she spreads, and joy is what she receives by volunteering and helping others. Sam's mom said her giving nature goes well beyond the walls of the FoodBank warehouse.
"She realizes too in school that there's kids that don't have lunch," said Lisa. "I started packing her double lunches so that if she did have a friend that did need something to eat, she could give them something."
Sam knows hunger is all around her. According to FeedMore WNY, 1 in 8 Western New Yorkers, and 1 in 5 children struggle with hunger. That's why donations to FeedMore, and dedicated volunteers like Sam, are critically important.
"We serve 130,000 individuals through both of our programs here at Feedmore WNY and the need in our community is never-ending," said McKenna. "Any help that the community can provide- whether it be through volunteering, making a donation of food, making a donation of funds- we're always in need of help."
If you'd like to donated to the FeedMore WNY, you can buy a "Little Brown Bag of Hope" for $5, $10 or $20 at all Tops supermarkets locations through Dec. 28.
You can also make a financial donation online by clicking here.