Throughout the pandemic, FeedMore WNY has been working overtime to provide nutritious food for those who need it most. The organization was so busy in fact, that it experienced a 36 percent increase in demand in 2020. Those numbers are disturbingly high, when you consider that volunteers served food and offered support to 180,880 individuals throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara counties (in 2020).
As daunting as those numbers are, it should be noted that the need for “food assistance” is not going away any time soon. According to FeedMore, communities will be dealing with those elevated numbers for years to come. The pandemic’s ripple effect will be felt for quite some time – hunger leaders and economists are predicting unprecedented financial hardships that will have to be addressed, resulting in rampant food insecurities throughout the nation.
As a way to bolster its efforts, the FeedMore WNY Foundation is hosting a virtual fundraiser on Wednesday, May 19, from 6 pm to 7 pm. The fundraiser – “Sweet Expectations at Home” – is a virtual version of the organization’s highly anticipated annual event.
“While all of us are eager to place COVID-19 in the rearview mirror, the unfortunate reality is that so many of our community members will remain in need of food assistance for years to come,” said Tara A. Ellis, president and CEO of FeedMore WNY. “COVID was the catalyst that caused numerous individuals to seek assistance through one of FeedMore WNY’s programs for the first time in their lives. And for those who were already struggling to put meals on the table, the pandemic only exacerbated their pain and hardship. Thanks to the generosity of the community, FeedMore WNY was able to distribute enough food to provide nearly 16 million meals to our neighbors in need in 2020. However, we still need continued support to respond to this once-in-a-generation crisis.”
This year’s virtual event, co-presented by James Desiderio Inc. and Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., will include:
- Culinary demonstrations from renowned chefs Darian Bryan and Camille Le Caër (lead image)
- Charcuterie artistry from Board in Buffalo founder Miranda Rozek
- An exciting online auction
- Live raffles
WNY is extremely lucky to have FeedMore as a dependable resource in the fight to combat hunger in our region. At the same time, the organization is only able to operate in an efficient capacity, with continued support from the WNY community.
“We encourage everyone to purchase a ticket to attend ‘Sweet Expectations at Home’ on May 19,” added Ellis. “Not only will it provide an evening of entertainment, but it will be a wonderful opportunity to help feed hungry babies, children, families, veterans, and older adults throughout Western New York.”
Event tickets range from $25 to $250; attendees will be entered into exclusive raffles and will receive additional gift items depending on the level of ticket they purchase. Tickets and more information can be found online at www.feedmorewny.org/sweet-expectations.
Tickets will remain on sale until the start of the event on May 19. The online auction will open at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 17, and will close at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 19.