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FeedMore WNY president and CEO Tara A. Ellis and Delaware North CEO Lou Jacobs. (Submitted)
FeedMore WNY president and CEO Tara A. Ellis and Delaware North CEO Lou Jacobs. (Submitted)

FeedMore WNY celebrates milestone in capital campaign


Thu, Sep 28th 2023 09:45 pm

Delaware North announces $1 million corporate donation, matching challenge and signature beverage fundraiser to support public campaign

FeedMore Press Release

FeedMore WNY has reached nearly two-thirds of its fundraising goal to establish a permanent home for the organization and build brighter futures for Western New Yorkers of all ages experiencing food insecurity and joblessness. With this milestone reached, FeedMore WNY is kicking off the public phase of its campaign and inviting the community to participate in this critical project.

Delaware North CEO Lou Jacobs is co-chairing the campaign with community volunteer Ann McCarthy, and Delaware North is donating $1 million to demonstrate the Western New York business community’s commitment to the project.

The campaign will enable FeedMore WNY to build a 197,700 square-foot facility in Hamburg, – the approximate geographic center of FeedMore WNY’s four-county service area – that will increase warehouse and commercial kitchen capacity and expand its workforce development program, among other critical capacity improvements to tackle root causes of food insecurity, increase access to safe and nutritious food for all, and transform lives through free career training and nutrition education opportunities.

The project cost is an estimated $99.8 million; to date $63.3 million has been committed in public and private funds to the campaign. Of the total current campaign commitments, $24 million was allocated by Gov. Kathy Hochul and state lawmakers in the 2023-24 budget. However, FeedMore WNY is still in need of many more commitments – both large and small – to build this mission-critical facility.

Delaware North was one of the first organizations to donate to the campaign and is the largest corporate donor to-date. Now in an additional show of support, Delaware North is announcing a dollar-for-dollar match of the first $250,000 raised from the public campaign, bringing its total contribution to $1.25 million.

The donations are the latest in Delaware North’s longstanding partnership with FeedMore WNY. Each week, Delaware North employees volunteer to deliver meals to homebound neighbors as partners of FeedMore WNY’s “Adopt-A-Route” program, and Delaware North employees frequently volunteer to sort and pack food in FeedMore WNY’s warehouse and tend the community garden.

“FeedMore takes great care of Western New York’s most vulnerable neighbors through a vast network of hunger-relief efforts, but the needs of our community have outgrown the capacity of their current facilities,” said Lou Jacobs, CEO of Delaware North, who also serves on the FeedMore board. “Delaware North is committed to partnering with FeedMore through this campaign to help meet the urgent needs of Western New York, and we’re grateful to our community for joining us in this important mission.”

Furthermore, Delaware North will raise awareness and funds for the campaign at its Western New York locations with the launch of its signature cocktail – the 716 Spritz. During the month of October, $1 from every 716 Spritz sold will be donated to FeedMore WNY’s capital campaign, and customers will be able to scan QR codes at Delaware North locations to learn more about the campaign and make direct donations. Locations where the 716 Spritz will be available include KeyBank Center, Highmark Stadium, the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, Hamburg Gaming and Patina 250.

FeedMore WNY President and CEO Tara A. Ellis; Katie Gorman, director, corporate social responsibility and strategic initiatives of Delaware North; and Lou Jacobs, CEO of Delaware North, pose in front of 716 Spritz poster. (Submitted)


Tara A. Ellis, president and CEO of FeedMore WNY, said, “Time and time again, the Western New York community has shown up to support FeedMore WNY and our food-insecure neighbors in their times of need. This is a time of need for FeedMore WNY; we cannot effectively serve our community with the critical capacity constraints of our current facilities, and we need Western New York’s support to secure the space and infrastructure we require to continue our mission. We are immensely grateful to Delaware North for kicking off the public phase of our capital campaign with their incredible $1 million donation, their $250,000 match challenge, and their signature beverage fundraiser. Their steadfast partnership has enabled our hunger-relief work for decades, and their generous support of our capital campaign will help us fulfill our mission for generations to come. We are grateful to the foundations, corporations, estates and additional community partners who have committed gifts in support of this important project, and we encourage our Western New York neighbors to assist in this effort to build a permanent home for FeedMore WNY.”

FeedMore WNY is relying on a variety of public and private funding sources for the capital campaign. In addition to Delaware North, FeedMore WNY also has received seven-figure donations from the Anne Alford and Manson Fiske Surdam Charitable Foundation, the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, the David and Joan Rogers Family Foundation, as well as funding from federal lawmakers.

To learn more about FeedMore WNY’s need for a new facility and to donate to the capital campaign, visit www.feedmorewny.org.

More About FeedMore WNY

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, as well as its home-delivered meal program, other targeted feeding programs and RISE workforce development training, 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.

More About Delaware North

Delaware North is a global leader in the hospitality and entertainment industry. The company annually serves more than a half-billion guests across three continents, including at high-profile sports venues, airports, national and state parks, restaurants, resorts, hotels and casinos. Building on more than a century of enduring partnerships and a commitment to local communities and sustainability, Delaware North’s vision is to delight guests by creating the world’s best experiences today while reimagining tomorrow. Learn more at www.DelawareNorth.com.

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