More than 700,000 meals will be provided to local families in need as a result of the 10th annual "Sweet Charity" benefit for the Food Bank of WNY, presented by James Desiderio Wholesale Produce. The annual fundraiser was held Thursday at The Atrium @ Rich's.
The proceeds from "Sweet Charity" will assist the Food Bank in its mission to procure and distribute nutritious food and resources to hungry Western New Yorkers through its 326 member agencies throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties.
For its 10th anniversary, "Sweet Charity" offered more food and drink offerings and entertainment than ever before. Attendees enjoyed tastings from more than 30 Western New York establishments, participated in silent and live auctions, a surprise drawing for a chance to win more than $1,000 worth of prizes, a wine ring toss and more.
"We are so grateful to all the businesses and individuals who helped make the 10th annual 'Sweet Charity' such a success," said Tim Wangler, "Sweet Charity" event chair and member of the Food Bank of WNY's board of directors. Wangler also serves as store manager of Wegmans Food Markets on Dick Road in Depew. "At Wegmans, one of our major values is to make a difference in the communities we serve, and it is both humbling and inspiring to see the Western New York community come together to help fight hunger one day at a time."
Robert Mercurio, president and CEO of James Desiderio Wholesale Produce, said, "Through the Food Bank of WNY, James Desiderio Produce is able to give back to many people in need. Along with the support of our business partners, we will continue to make a difference in eliminating hunger."
"Sweet Charity" was made possible thanks to many generous sponsors. Decadent-level sponsors were Lawley Insurance and HSBC Bank. Main entrée sponsors were JIT Toyota Lift, Tops Friendly Markets and Wegmans Food Markets.
Additional "Sweet Charity" sponsors included: soufflé sponsors - Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner LLP, Frey Electric, Independent Health, LP Ciminelli, M&T Bank, MAV Sales, NRG Curtailment Solutions, Seneca Niagara Casino and Vogt Sprinkler Service Inc.; cookie tray sponsors - Blount Consulting; Coca-Cola Bottling of Buffalo; Five Star Bank; Hodgson Russ LLP; Keller Technology Corp.; Lougen, Valenti, Bookbinder & Weintraub LLP; MOOG; Murak & Associates LLC; Rich Products Corp.; Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc.; WNY Frozen & Refrigerated Association; hors d' oeuvres sponsors - 2 Find Your Home; AAA of Western and Central New York; Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC; Personal Touch Food Service; and RKD Alpha Dog.
The Food Bank of WNY is the primary hunger relief organization in Western New York, obtaining and distributing food to 326 member agencies.
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. For more information, visit www.foodbankwny.org.