Rich’s Hosts “Edge Out Hunger” Drive for Food Bank of WNY

After Hurricane Sandy devastated the coastal areas of New York and New Jersey last year, Rich’s associates came together to help our neighbors downstate with a relief drive for essential supplies. That turnout was tremendous as we exceeded our original goal of filling one truck by having to call for a second truck, thanks to the generous response from associates and the community!  The success of the Sandy Relief drive motivated us to look for other ways in which we can continue to Better Our Community.

On Tuesday, November 19, Rich’s hosted the “Edge Out Hunger Food Drive” at World Headquarters from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. WBBZ-TV and 103.3 FM joined us in organizing and promoting the event through local media outlets and on social media channels. While we all look forward to shopping and enjoying time off during the holidays, this is also a time when others throughout the city may struggle to celebrate because they lack some basic necessities.

“With the economic challenges faced by many Buffalo residents, Rich’s welcomes the opportunity to collect food donations from the community to assist those who are facing a food shortage throughout the region,” said Howard Rich, Vice President of Corporate Relations. “This is the time of year when we all want to share with others, and Rich’s is pleased to partner with the Food Bank of Western New York.”

In the pre-dawn hours, the Shredd and Ragan show kicked off a full day of 103.3 FM shows broadcasted live from the entrance at One Robert Rich Way. Thanks to associates, members of the community and a couple of City of Buffalo Police car drop-offs, the drive generated $5,486 in cash donations, 75 turkeys and more than 1,000 pounds of non-perishable food. If you convert all of the donations to meals, we raised enough to provide the equivalency of more than 30,000 meals for families, veterans, children and the elderly who can use our help.

Facing very windy and chilly conditions, more than 60 associates volunteered for one-hour shifts starting before daylight to collect and sort the food on a 46-foot-trailer provided by the Food Bank of Western New York. The agency was very appreciative of our efforts as we really provided a boost to our neighbors in Buffalo as the temperatures drop and food banks face an increased demand to serve all those in need.

Special guests who stopped by the radio booth to make a donation included Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, New York State Senator Mark Grisanti and Brian Moorman from the Buffalo Bills.

“The Rich’s Edge Out Hunger Drive really helped provide food for many more residents this holiday season than we would have normally had the capacity to serve,” said Mike Billoni, Public and Community Relations Director for the Food Bank of Western New York. “I thank all of the Rich’s associates for their generosity and time while volunteering at the event for the community.”

As we all continue to Better Our Communities through volunteering, mentoring and providing donations to different organizations throughout the year, it was a great day to come together and invite the community to WHQ to share some warm holiday cheer with those who are less fortunate and preparing for their winter needs.

Did you know that…?

  • Each month the Food Bank of Western New York provides food and other essentials to more than 96,000 people, including 38,685 children and 7,847 senior adults, through its various member agencies.
  • The Food Bank’s Back Pack Program provides 900 children at 15 Buffalo Public Schools with nutritious food every Friday. Rich’s sponsors Buffalo Public School #3 that includes 50 participating students in the program.
  • A $1 donation helps provide approximately five meals to a family.
  • Currently, state funding to the Food Bank was reduced by $183,634, representing a 5.6% reduction from last year. This will result in the equivalent of 918,170 fewer meals distributed in Western New York.
  • In 2012-13, the Food Bank distributed 12 million pounds of food and grocery items, of which 45 percent originated from donations. The remaining 55 percent was USDA or purchased with grants and other funding.