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'Food 2 Families' to provide more than 1.1 million meals for Western New Yorkers in need

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Thu, Dec 8th 2016 04:30 pm

Annual holiday drive for the Food Bank of WNY collects record-breaking amount of food

The Food Bank of WNY will be able to provide more than 1.1 million meals to local families in need this holiday season and into the new year as a result of the 11th annual "Food 2 Families." Sponsored by Tops Friendly Markets, WGRZ-TV Channel 2 and Townsquare Media, the holiday drive collected $165,956 and a record-breaking 163,668 pounds of food. Thanks to the generosity of the community, the food and funds donated this year will help provide nearly 11,000 more meals compared to last year's event.

"Food 2 Families" was held on Dec. 2 at six area Tops Friendly Markets locations. WGRZ-TV and Townsquare Media broadcasted live throughout the day from Tops stores, as families and businesses in the community came forward to donate money, "Brown Bags of Hope" purchased through Tops, and carloads of food.

"The compassion of the Western New York community continues to make 'Food 2 Families' an incredible success year after year. We thank our great partners at Tops Friendly Markets, the Food Bank of WNY, and all those who came forward to help provide food for those who need it most this holiday season," said Jim Toellner, president and general manager of WGRZ-TV.

" 'Food 2 Families' is our core event of the year that helps with our mission statement of eradicating hunger," said Tops Friendly Markets Chairman and CEO Frank Curci. "We know there are members in our community that don't know where their next meal is coming from, so we are glad to work with the Food Bank of WNY to nourish the well-being of our neighborhoods. We are extremely thankful to our customers, associates and partners for their support of this great initiative and we look forward to one day ending hunger."

Dean Sarago, director of promotions/marketing at Townsquare Media of Buffalo, said, "It was amazing to witness how people, no matter where they live or what their situation may be, supported this cause. So many individuals were involved in making this event a success - from the volunteers who packed the 'Brown Bags of Hope' and stood in the cold to collect donations, to everyone who donated. Townsquare Media is proud to be a part of 'Food 2 Families.' "

"We continue to be humbled and inspired by the generosity of the Western New York community. The Food Bank could not effectively fight hunger without the support of our incredible partners. We are so thankful for our friends at Tops Friendly Markets, WGRZ-TV and Townsquare Media, as well as all the individuals and organizations who helped make 'Food 2 Families' a tremendous success," said Marylou Borowiak, president and CEO of the Food Bank of WNY.

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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