The Erie County Agricultural Society announced an initiative to help combat childhood hunger in the area. In a partnership with Tops Friendly Markets and Student Transportation of America, a “Meals On The Bus” food drive is planned for three area Tops Markets locations from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, July 24. Proceeds will benefit FeedMore WNY.
√ Store No. 220: 4777 Transit Road, Depew
√ Store No. 226: 890 Young St., Tonawanda
√ Store No. 236: 6150 South Park Ave., Hamburg
This is a contactless food drive. Representatives will collect items directly from shoppers as they leave the store; or from a vehicle, if preferred.
A press release stated, “We are asking people to donate single serve items like oatmeal, applesauce, easy mac, granola bars, pudding cups, fruit cups, nuts, etc., in hopes of giving families and children easy, nutritious meals. The goal is to fill the bus on location at each Tops store.
In 2020, FeedMore WNY assisted a total of 180,880 individuals throughout its four-county service area through all of its feeding programs – a 36% increase compared to 2019. A big reason for this was that many children were without their main source of nutrition: school meals. These donations will support FeedMore WNY’s backpack program, which provides bags of easy-to-prepare, kid-friendly food to children in need.
For a donation, one will be entered to win an Erie County Fair VIP package.
“The need for food assistance in our community is greater than ever,” said Tara A. Ellis, president and CEO of FeedMore WNY. “In 2020, FeedMore WNY distributed enough food through all of our feeding programs to provide nearly 16 million meals to our neighbors in need. This is an increase of nearly 4 million meals compared to 2019. We are grateful for this partnership with our friends at the Erie County Fair, Tops Markets, Student Transportation of America and WGRZ-TV through the ‘Meals on the Bus’ event, and we encourage the community to participate in this critical food drive.”
Tops Friendly Markets Vice President Kristen Hanson said, “Tops is proud to partner with both The Erie County Agricultural Society and FeedMore WNY to help fill each of the busses at our three area Tops locations to help eradicate hunger here in Western New York. As a board member with FeedMore WNY, I see first-hand the remarkable impact this organization makes on our community. Last year alone, our food bank program distributed more than 17 million pounds of nutritious fresh and shelf-stable foods to nearly 300 pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters and other hunger-relief agencies throughout Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties. The need continues to be great, and we need your help.”
Erie County Agricultural Society CEO Jessica Underberg said, “We know that the Erie County Fair has been the largest one-day summertime food collection for FeedMore WNY in recent years and, with not being able to hold the food drive on opening day this year, we still wanted to help FeedMore WNY.”
For more information, visit www.ECFair.org.