ALBANY, N .Y. – A record breaking amount of food was donated Sunday during the 7th annual Neighborhood Food Drive.
The Regional Food Bank of New York collected food donations all weekend. Hundreds of neighborhood volunteers delivered over 7,000 empty bags to neighbors in their communities. A letter was placed inside each bag requesting the bag be filled with non-perishable food donations.
The filled bags were collected Sunday amounting to a record amount of food for the food bank.
“It’s just everyone making a contribution,” volunteer Judy Krakower said. “And, you know, hunger is not going away.”
Kathleen Busch is the coordinator of the food drive. She said the need is far greater than 7,000 bags.
“We know that this is not the answer to the region’s hunger problem, but this is something that has given the food banks of the area a head start,” she said.
Krakower is a yearly volunteer with the food drive. She said in these days with job cuts and unemployment benefits ending, the food doesn’t always go to the most obvious people.
“We’re talking about the working poor who rely on the food banks,” she said.
Busch agreed saying that unemployment benefits often do not provide enough money to feed a family for an entire month.
“They typically would only have enough money to pay for food with these benefits for about three weeks out of the month and then would be able to go to the food pantries for the remaining week,” she said.
This is the seventh year the Latham-based non-profit held the food drive, and although it grows each year, so does the need for food.
“You know it’s your neighbor, your great aunt,” Krakower said. “You know people you may never expect that need just that little boost to make ends meet, and that’s what the food bank is really there for.”
The collected food will be dispersed to various food banks throughout the Capital Region and distributed to needy families.