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'Rock Out Hunger' collects record 4,350 turkeys in time for Thanksgiving

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Wed, Nov 30th 2016 05:30 pm

Annual drive has now provided more than 1 million meals to local families in need

Thousands of hungry local families received a turkey and all the trimmings for a Thanksgiving meal just in time for the holiday as a result of the 11th annual "Operation: Rock Out Hunger" to benefit the Food Bank of Western New York. The weeklong food and fund drive, presented by 97 Rock and co-sponsored by WKBW-TV Channel 7, collected a record-breaking 4,350 turkeys, as well as $24,437 and 21,420 pounds of food.

From Nov. 16-23, 97 Rock's DJ Jickster lived on a 53-foot Food Bank trailer in the Eastern Hills Mall parking lot in order to collect donations of turkeys, additional food and funds to benefit hungry Western New Yorkers. In addition to providing turkeys for 4,350 families this Thanksgiving, the proceeds from the drive helped provide 164,472 meals for those who rely on the Food Bank.

Since it began in 2006, "Operation: Rock Out Hunger" has helped provide more than 1 million meals and nearly 22,000 turkeys for local families in need.

"I am so grateful to all those who came out to 'Rock Out Hunger' in order to support their neighbors in need," DJ Jickster said. "Year after year, I am humbled by the compassion of our community members. It is because of their generosity that so many hungry families were able to have a nice Thanksgiving holiday."

"WKBW is proud to partner with 97 Rock and the Food Bank of WNY on 'Rock Out Hunger.' The generosity of the WNY community always amazes us as they come forward and help those in need no matter what situation they are in themselves. We all have something to be thankful for this year and, for us, it is the kindness of those who made 'Rock Out Hunger' a tremendous success," said Michael Nurse, WKBW-TV vice president and general manager.

"We are incredibly grateful to DJ Jickster, 97 Rock, WKBW-TV Channel 7 and all the individuals and organizations who made this 'Rock Out Hunger' our best year yet," said Marylou Borowiak, president and CEO of the Food Bank of WNY. "The Food Bank's wonderful partnerships make it possible for us to continue to fight hunger one day at a time."

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 in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara counties. 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.

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