WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB)– With his heater on full blast, his microphone on stand-by, and his chair ready to sleep in, 97 Rock’s DJ Dave Jickster is ready to “Rock Out Hunger” for the 18th time.

“You get to meet great people, you get to spread awareness about what FeedMore WNY does and it just — there’s no better feeling than trying to help out the community and that’s what we do,” Jickster said. “It just amazes me every single time, you hear from people that needed FeedMore WNY at a time in their life, and might need it in the future.”

Every year, a week before Thanksgiving, Jickster camps out in a FeedMore WNY trailer to collect donations around the clock. They’re collecting non-perishable food items, funds and frozen turkeys, and the donations will go directly towards putting food on the table for families in need throughout the community.

This year, they had more than 2,200 turkey donations and nearly $20,000 in monetary donations, along with a truck load of non-perishable food items and perishable items on refrigerated trucks.

“All we need is you and your support,” said Catherine Shick, Public Relations Manager, of FeedMore WNY. “We’re seeing so many of our pantries telling us how big of a need they are seeing in terms of the people who are coming through their doors for food assistance and events like Rock Out Hunger, make it possible for FeedMore WNY to continue to provide nutritious food to our network of food pantries, soup kitchens, group homes and other hunger relief partners throughout our four-county service area.”

According to FeedMore WNY, from 2021 through 2022, food insecurity throughout the nation rose 31%. FeedMore WNY helps more than 197,000 people throughout their four county service area, with food assistance.

“So many people equate Thanksgiving and the holiday season with sitting down to a nice wonderful meal with family and loved ones. Our neighbors in need should be able to do that as well, they shouldn’t have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from,” Shick said. “So please, do come out, help our neighbors in need have a great holiday season but also know you’re helping them year round.”

Rock Out Hunger is taking place in the parking lot of Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital’s parking lot until 10 a.m. Tuesday. To find out more information, click here.

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Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.