The 10th annual Operation: Rock Out Hunger, presented by 97 Rock and co-sponsored by WKBW-TV Channel 7, collected a record 4,000 turkeys during its seven-day promotion for the Food Bank of Western New York. The number of turkeys donated nearly doubled the previous record of 2,508 turkeys in 2012.
From Nov. 18-25, 97 Rock's DJ Dave Jickster lived on a 48-foot Food Bank trailer in the Eastern Hills Mall parking lot collecting turkeys, nonperishable food and cash to benefit local families in need. In addition to turkeys, the Western New York community donated nearly 19,640 pounds of food and more than $20,000 in cash.
Operation: Rock Out Hunger had a great kickoff with major turkey donations, including 200 turkeys from Dash's Market, 200 turkeys from Gui's Lumber and 400 turkeys from John W. Danforth Company and industry representatives. National Fuel announced it would match turkeys donated throughout the drive. Generous individuals and businesses continued to stop by the event with donations, 300 turkeys from Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network, 200 turkeys from Liberatore Management Group and 400 turkeys from Carubba Collision Corp.
Operation: Rock Out Hunger ended on a high note with major donations from former Buffalo Bill and Pro Football Hall of Fame Quarterback Jim Kelly and his wife, Jill Kelly, and the Kelly for Kids Foundation, as well as donations from Kaleida Health President and CEO Jody Lomeo, his wife, Mary Lomeo, and their son, Vincent. Additionally, Kaleida Health gave 400 turkeys, and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown also stopped by with donations of turkeys and food.
"Each year, I continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of all those who stop by the trailer with donations," Jickster said. "It is a humbling experience to learn how great the need is in Western New York, and it is rewarding to meet all the people who come out to make a difference in the community."
"We are so grateful to DJ Jickster, 97 Rock, WKBW-TV Channel 7 and all the businesses and individuals who helped make the 10th annual Operation: Rock Out Hunger a huge success," said Marylou Borowiak, president and CEO of the Food Bank of WNY. "Because of their generosity, the Food Bank was able to provide more than 136,000 meals and 4,000 turkeys to families in need as a result of this event."
Operation: Rock Out Hunger has collected more than $134,771, 142,461 pounds of food and 17,574 turkeys since it began in 2006.
The Food Bank of WNY is the primary hunger relief organization in Western New York, obtaining and distributing food to 326 member agencies, including food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, afterschool programs and senior citizen centers in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. Through these agencies, every month the Food Bank of WNY serves 116,691 individuals, including 41,348 families, nearly 44,000 children and infants, and 13,194 senior citizens.
The Food Bank of WNY is one of 200 members of Feeding America, the nation's food bank network. For more information, visit www.foodbankwny.org.