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Worldwide effort to feed needy families visits Buffalo's West side

Ashley Hirtzel

The internationally known ‘Feed the Children’ effort made a stop in Buffalo Wednesday. The 5th annual event also known as “Americans Feeding Americans” served roughly 800 families on the West side.

More than 200 volunteers passed out food to people in need on the upper west side. Buffalo Dream Center Pastor Eric Johns helped organize the event. He says each family received 60 to 70 pounds of pre-packaged food and supplies.

“We’ve got non-perishable goods and water. There are some hygiene products as well. So, they get a whole variety of stuff. We’ve been working for the past three or four weeks knocking on doors, talking to families, seeing who is in need and giving them a voucher. So, you can’t really get in line unless you have that so that’s how the system works,” said Johns.

The volunteers also helped people carry their donated supplies home. Johns says this year’s event is especially important. Johns says this year’s event is especially important, because it fills a niche within a community heavily populated with low-income families, refugees and immigrants.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
People in Buffalo's upper west side are waiting in line to receive their box of donated goods from 'Feed the Children.'

Volunteer from the Belle Center Domingo Ramirez says he lives in the neighborhood. He says the event is making a huge difference in the lives of many in the community.

“It’s very important to see a happy face on them. Showing them that we love them and that there’s somebody out there that’s thinking about them and that cares for them. It’s a good feeling,”  said Ramirez.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
The food and personal care products for 'Feed the Children' were donated by PespsiCo, Lays and Tops Friendly Markets.

Katherine Jarka is the mother of 4 kids. She says it means a lot that ‘Feed the Children’ understands the need in the area.

“I’m just speechless right now, because they’re helping out all of the families that need help. It’s just a little exciting,” said Jarka.

The food and personal care products were donated by PespsiCo, Lays and Tops Friendly Markets. ‘Feed the Children’ is a non-profit organization that provides more than 350,000 meals to children every day worldwide.