As the cost of food rises, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the poor to provide a healthy, balanced diet to their families. Recognizing this need in the Western New York community, AT&T and The Food Bank of WNY have partnered to provide a weekly delivery of fresh produce to Response to Love Center at 130 Kosciuszko Street on the east side.
Starting today and throughout the next 17 weeks, the Food Bank of Western New York will deliver 22 cases – approximately 800 pounds – of fresh produce, including broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, yellow onions, white potatoes, apples and navel oranges, weekly to Response to Love Center. AT&T’s contribution will result in more than 370 cases or approximately 13,600 pounds of fresh produce for our hungry neighbors in Buffalo.
“AT&T’s generous contribution and partnership with the Food Bank helps us to fulfill our mission to obtain and distribute nutritious food to the hungry in Western New York through our 326 member agencies, including Response to Love Center.” said Marylou Borowiak, President & CEO of the Food Bank of Western New York.
The Food Bank of WNY is the primary hunger relief organization in Western New York, obtaining and distributing food to 326 member agencies including food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, after school programs and senior citizen centers in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. Through these agencies, every month the Food Bank of WNY serves 116,821 individuals, including 41,348 families, nearly 44,000 children and infants, and 13,194 senior citizens.
“We are extremely grateful for this collaboration between the Food Bank of Western New York and AT&T, which will provide 17 weeks of fruits and vegetables to approximately 500 individuals who rely on Response to Love Center’s food pantry each month,” said Michael Gilhooly, Assistant Director of Response to Love Center. “It is a struggle for many of our clients to obtain fresh produce due to geographic and economic barriers, and this wonderful donation will provide them access to nutritious food which they might not have otherwise been able to receive.”
The Response to Love Center provides food to nearly 500 individuals monthly through its food pantry. The Center helps to support local families, veterans and seniors through a variety of programs, including adult education classes for English as a Second Language and TASC high school equivalency assessment and training.
Giving back to the community where AT&T colleagues live and work is part of the company’s corporate DNA. For 100 years, AT&T employees have been donating their time and talents to support underserved populations and strengthen communities.
“Recognizing the need for healthy food and especially fresh produce for students at the start of the school year, AT&T is proud to support the efforts of Response to Love and The Food Bank of WNY and their programs that help feed and nourish our neighbors in need,” said Kevin Hanna, Regional Director, External Affairs, AT&T. “This is a time when the food supplies are the most pressured for these organizations and we urge the public and the business community to consider making a donation to The Food Bank of WNY or a local food pantry like Response to Love.”
Congressman Higgins, a long-time ally in the fight to end hunger in Western New York, attended the kick-off even today.
“This campaign is one of the many efforts by the Food Bank of Western New York to fight hunger and serve those who need it most,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “Through partnering with Sister Johnice and her Response to Love Center these dedicated organizations will be able to distribute fresh produce, including a generous contribution from AT&T, to those in need and provide an invaluable service to our community.”