A record-breaking 650 supporters participated in the Food Bank of Western New York's 9th annual "Walk Off Hunger" and "Summerfest," which were held Sunday at Island Park in Williamsville. The family-friendly event raised more than $82,000, which will help the Food Bank provide 492,000 meals to local families in need.
Life Storage, formerly Uncle Bob's Self Storage, presented "Walk Off Hunger" and "Summerfest."
"This year's 'Walk Off Hunger' was a tremendous success; we are honored to partner with the Food Bank and the other sponsors to help fight hunger in our community. We look forward to the continued growth of this wonderful event," said Diane Piegza, vice president of investor relations and community affairs at Life Storage.
The fundraiser's proceeds come at a crucial time, as donations to the Food Bank slow in the summer - while the need in the community remains high. In any given month, the Food Bank assists as many as 129,000 individuals, including more than 44,000 families, throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. The summer months are especially straining on families whose children rely on their school's free or reduced-priced meal program.
"It is inspiring to witness the Western New York community come together year after year in order to help feed our hungry neighbors. 'Walk Off Hunger's' continued success is truly a team effort, and made possible thanks to the dedication of our walkers, the generosity of our sponsors, and the hard work put forth by our volunteers, 'Walk Off Hunger' committee members, and the Food Bank staff," said Gary Bluestein, member of the Food Bank of WNY board of directors and founder of "Walk Off Hunger."
"We are extremely grateful to all those who worked so hard to make 'Walk Off Hunger' our best year yet, and to help the Food Bank fight hunger one day at a time," said Marylou Borowiak, president and CEO of the Food Bank of WNY. "Throughout the past nine years, the proceeds from this event have helped the Food Bank provide nearly 2.9 million meals for our neighbors in need."
"Walk Off Hunger" and "Summerfest" were co-hosted by Calvary Episcopal Church and Congregation Shir Shalom, and made possible through the generosity of many sponsors, including Diamond Sponsors - General Motors Tonawanda Engine Plant and General Motors Foundation; Andreozzi, Bluestein, Weber, Brown LLP; Evans Bank; Father Sam's Bakery; Praxair Inc.; and Wireless Zone Foundation for Giving; and Platinum Sponsors - BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York; Foxy Delivery Service Inc.; General Mills; and Amy and Eduardo Heumann.
The Food Bank of WNY is the primary hunger-relief organization in Western New York, obtaining and distributing food to 329 member agencies, including food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, youth programs and senior centers. Through these agencies, the Food Bank of WNY serves as many as 129,322 individuals in any given month, including more than 44,000 families, 45,000 children, and nearly 17,000 seniors. For more information, visit www.foodbankwny.org.