Contactless food & fund drive will run from Nov. 2-9 at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital
To help neighbors in need have enough to eat this holiday season, “97 Rock,” Kaleida Health, WKBW 7 Eyewitness News and FeedMore WNY will host the 16th annual “Operation: Rock Out Hunger” food and fund drive.
From 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, through 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, “97 Rock’s” DJ Jickster will live in a FeedMore WNY trailer in the Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital parking lot at 1540 Maple Road, Williamsville. From there, he will collect donations of nonperishable food, frozen turkeys and monetary donations to benefit FeedMore WNY.
“Seeing firsthand the overwhelming show of support for FeedMore WNY from our listeners with their generous donations never gets old! Unfortunately, each year, the need for food keeps rising and FeedMore WNY rises to the challenge,” said DJ Jickster, also director of marketing and promotions for “97 Rock.” “Their staff and the volunteers are amazing. It's the greatest experience in the world for me to get to do this for 16 years backed by my employer, co-workers and sponsors. It's a sweet 16!”
As a kick-off to the event, Kaleida Health and its affiliates across FeedMore WNY’s four-county service area collected food donations from Oct. 4-29.
“We are honored to be part of ‘Rock Out Hunger’ again,” said Bob Nesselbush, CEO of Kaleida Health. “For the past month, 25 locations across Kaleida Health and our affiliates throughout Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties have been collecting nonperishable food items to ramp up for ‘Rock Out Hunger,’ and dozens more of our employees will be volunteering at ‘Rock Out Hunger’ next week. Especially as we continue to face unprecedented challenges, we recognize that far too many individuals and families are struggling for the most basic items. So, the Kaleida Health family is stepping up again to achieve what we hope to be another record-breaking event that will truly impact so many in our community.”
A press release noted, “While hunger has long been prevalent in Western New York, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exacerbate the need for food assistance in the community. In 2020, FeedMore WNY assisted a total of nearly 181,000 individuals throughout its four-county service area – a 36% increase compared to 2019. The nonprofit also distributed enough food through all of its feeding programs to provide nearly 16 million meals to neighbors in need, which was 4 million meals more than in 2019.”
LeAnne Markins, director of Creative Services for WKBW, said, “Food insecurity is not a new problem in our area but, as the pandemic continues, this has become a new issue for many more families in WNY. While ‘Rock Out Hunger’ is an event that WKBW is proud to be a part of every year (alongside Kaleida Health, FeedMore WNY and ‘97 Rock’), it’s still so important to support this effort to help our neighbors in need. I have no doubt that the community of WNY will continue to rise to the occasion, and 7 WKBW will be there to bring you these great stories on ‘AM Buffalo’ and 7 Eyewitness News.”
In addition to the collection at “Operation: Rock Out Hunger,” donations of food and funds can be dropped off at the FeedMore WNY’s distribution warehouse at 91 Holt St., Buffalo, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and from 8 a.m. to noon most Saturdays. Call FeedMore WNY at 716-822-2002 to schedule a Saturday donation drop-off. Donations also can be made online at www.feedmorewny.org/rock-out-hunger/.
“FeedMore WNY continues to work tirelessly to meet the increased need for food assistance in our community,” said Tara A. Ellis, president and CEO of FeedMore WNY. “This year, we will be holding this incredible food drive earlier than normal, from Nov. 2 through Nov. 9. Our hope is that this change will allow us to better prepare for the need that is so pervasive this holiday season. Many thanks to DJ Jickster of ‘97 Rock,’ Kaleida Health and WKBW 7 Eyewitness News for making ‘Operation: Rock Out Hunger’ possible again this year. We encourage the Western New York community to come out and support this safe, contactless food and fund drive to benefit our neighbors in need.”
FeedMore WNY offers dignity, hope and a brighter future by providing nutritious food, friendship and skills training to its Western New York neighbors in need. Through its Food Bank Distribution Center and partner hunger-relief agencies, Meals on Wheels and other targeted feeding programs, as well as its RISE workforce development program, FeedMore WNY alleviates hunger and assists community members of all ages throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. More information can be found at www.feedmorewny.org.