BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Thursday, our Channel 4 family filed into FeedMore Western New York to lend a helping hand. Since 2016, we’ve celebrated the birthday of WIVB/WNLO-TV and WIVB.com’s owner, Nexstar Media Group, by giving back to the communities that we serve.

This year we return to FeedMore Western New York, an organization that does so much for our community.

FeedMore has been able to distribute $3.5 million worth of food since the attack at Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue, on top of the efforts they do annually.

“There’s always a need for when donations come in, to support our emergency response efforts, all of those donations need to be sorted, checked and repacked.” Collin Bishop, the Chief of Communications of FeedMore said, “Volunteers had always been an important part of FeedMore WNY’s mission, and right now that need is even greater.”

“It’s always great to give back, especially now,” Dee Jakel, a Director at WIVB said, “There’s so many people in need and it’s great to do something to give back to the community.”

Our team that’s seen on camera, to the ones working behind the scenes, filled over 600 backpacks worth of food today and hundreds of emergency food kits will be going directly to East Buffalo.

But for some members, the volunteer hours hit closer to home.

“FeedMore is close to my heart because my mom gets three meals a week,” Paul Ivancic, one of our News Photographers said, “We depend on them as a family so my mom was getting a good meal.”

Ivancic has been a part of every Founder’s Day since it began and has been working behind the camera at WIVB for 28 years.

He says it’s important to see this side of the many fundraisers that he has filmed over the years.

“I just love it because I’ve done a lot of stories on them, and I’ve seen the kids that get the backpacks, I’ve been to a lot of the distributions and it just melts my heart,” Ivancic said.

“For me, I know that there’s kids at my daughter’s school that might receive some of this stuff,” Dee Jakel said, “For me it’s kind of a full-circle moment, tying all three aspects together.”

Our team will be back helping again tomorrow, doing anything we can to help the community that helps us daily.

For more information about FeedMore WNY, click here.

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.