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Sweet Home, Lackawanna food drives help people in need across WNY

'The pandemic has exacerbated this need and limited the kids from accessing food from us,' Sweet Home Education Foundation president Lisa Labrake said.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Two different food drives helped people in need across Western New York on Saturday.

Sweet Home's Weekend Backpack food program hosted a food drive from 9 a.m. to noon at the high school.

And in Lackawanna, 6-year-old Camryn Sireika hosted a food drive from 10 a.m. to noon at Catholic Charities' Russell J. Salvatore Food Pantry and Outreach, located at 75 Caldwell Place.

Sireika helped raise $4,256.00 which was also donated to Catholic Charities. $1350.00 was donated by our City of Lackawanna mayor, fire department, police department, and department of public works.

Thousands of pounds of food were also collected.

High school English teacher and president of the Sweet Home Education Foundation Lisa Labrake said in the first six weeks of the COVID pandemic, the number of students served by the school's food pantry increased 400 percent.

Now 42 families, and more than 100 children, receive weekly backpacks or boxes filled with enough food to get them through the weekend.

"The pandemic has exacerbated this need and limited the kids from accessing food from us," Labrake said.