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Food Bank responds to short notice need; Still ready for Thanksgiving

Avery Schneider

It goes without saying this has been a busy week for public agencies in Buffalo and the South Towns. For the Food Bank of Western New York, that was certainly the case. WBFO’s Avery Schneider talked with the Food Bank about their response to what folks are now calling, “Snowvember”…

The massive snowfall led to the closure of a number of supporting agencies south of the city, which normally distribute much-needed supplies. Saturday afternoon, the Food Bank received a call from the New York State Department of Homeland Security, asking for food for families that have been homebound in Lackawanna.

Mike Billoni, the Food Bank’s Public and Community Relations Director, says the request was not so unusual because - like others across the country - the Food Bank of Western new York has disaster relief plans in place…

“So we have plenty of food on hand here, so when the phone call came in, we were here. So that helped alleviate a lot of time,” said Billoni.

About seven thousand pounds of milk, juice, soup and stew were sent out to the Lackawanna Senior Center where Governor Andrew Cuomo, Members of the National Guard and various aid agency volunteers, helped food bank employees pack delivery bags. Billoni says the large, short-notice distribution will not affect normal operations…

“We will reorder to replenish our supply, but this did not affect any of our plans for thanksgiving meals that are going out to our member-agencies, Billoni said.”

Billoni says a dent was made in the Food Bank’s Thanksgiving stockpile, but that a large number of individuals and agencies have been overly generous in helping them make up the difference. He says as fast as turkeys are coming in, is as fast as they’re going out to member agencies, and families in need, just in time for Thanksgiving Dinner.