Getting this year’s Fill the Backpack donations ready for local kids in need

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – About a month after you helped us get more than 177,000 pounds of food for FeedMore WNY’s Fill the Backpack program, bags of that food are now on their way to children in need.

Volunteers from Wegmans and Fidelis Care teamed up Thursday morning to pack thousands of bags of pasta, canned veggies, and other foods that you bought during this year’s Fill the Backpack campaign.

As they packed bags, another Wegmans tractor trailer arrived to deliver another load of food for the program.

In all, you donated enough food to fill five tractor trailers this year.

“It’s kind of bittersweet, right? I don’t think anybody hopes for this type of need but when the community comes together and so many generous Western New Yorkers come and fill that need, it feels really, really good,” said Tim Wangler, a Wegmans store manager who was volunteering at the Food Bank Thursday.

The need for that food is huge. The Fill the Backpack program serves thousands of kids across the four counties served by FeedMore WNY.

“There are a lot of bags to pack, when you think about the numbers: 3,500 children receiving a bag every week. It’s a tremendous amount of work to really get all the food put together and ready to go for the kids,” said Jennifer Lyons, director of sales and marketing for Fidelis Care, as she was packing bags with other volunteers Thursday.

Those children rely on free or reduced price meals at school, and would go hungry on weekends and during the summer when they’re out of school without the help of the Backpack program and your donations.

“I’m always humbled and blown away by the support of the Western New York community,” said Catherine Shick, communications director for FeedMore WNY. “Hunger is 365 days a year, so FeedMore WNY does rely on the support of the community year round.”

Of course, more help is always needed. You can learn more about how you can donate your time, money, or food by clicking here.

You can also learn more about how you can get help on the FeedMore WNY website.

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