Food pantries battered by storm receive help from Wegmans
November's historic storm left many food pantries with empty shelves. The Food Bank of Western New York is using some large corporate donations to help more than 30 agencies replenish their pantries.
Wegmans has donated $50,000 to help service-providers that were battered by the 'Snowvember Storm.
"There was a driving ban, so we couldn't deliver [agencies] their food that they get from the Food Bank on a regular basis," said Mike Billoni, who heads community relations at the Food Bank of Western New York. "Their clients were able to make it to the agencies, and all of a sudden, they had no more food to distribute."
Other corporate donors have contributed funds to help acquire and distribute food in communities that were hardest hit by the storm, including HSBC Bank, the Scripps Howard Foundation, WKBW-TV, Citizens Bank and First Niagara Bank."
"Corporate Western New York came to the rescue," Billoni told WBFO.
Pantries in impacted communities will receive credits that can be used to acquire food from the Food Bank. The credits will range from $1,600 for smaller agencies, to $3,400 for large service-providers. The agencies are located in numerous areas, including South Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Lackawanna, Orchard Park, Silver Creek, Springville and West Seneca. In a typical month, these agencies serve more than 179,000 meals to about 24,000 people.
The Food Bank has witnessed a 7 percent increase in demand over the past year, Billoni said. The agency has also experienced a rise in the need for food assistance by current and former military service members. The Buffalo-based agency distributes food to 330 member agencies, including pantries, shelters, after-school programs and senior citizens centers in several counties.