The Food Bank of the Southern Tier and Wegmans are kicking off the 10th annual Fill the Bus campaign on Friday, September 8 at the Wegmans in Ithaca.
September is also Hunger Action Month. This is a campaign in which all food banks across the country encourage their community members to "take action" by getting involved directly with the food bank to help alleviate hunger in their communities. You can take action by purchasing and donating kid-friendly food items like canned fruits and vegetables, mac and cheese and peanut butter for the Food Bank BackPack Program. The other way to get involved is to Fill the Bus.
Fill the Bus is an annual community-wide food drive to collect kid-friendly food items for children at risk of hunger across the Southern Tier. Wegmans shoppers can participate in the campaign September 9 to the 23, with the goal of donating enough food to fill a school bus parked in the Wegmans lot.
Something that's new this year, shoppers can purchase items to donate in pre-packed bags for $3, $5 or $10. All Fill the Bus donations will benefit the Food Bank’s BackPack Program and the School Food Pantry pilot program. These programs provides children with food to take home on weekends and school breaks.
Last year, Wegman's shoppers donated 69,861 lbs. of food and the Food Bank distributed 140,000 BackPacks to children at risk of hunger. Also last year, the Food Bank distributed 9.8 million meals.
There are many opportunities for community members and local businesses to show their support for hunger relief during September. People can do that by donating, volunteering, engaging with elected officials, participating in special fundraising events, or raising awareness by sharing their story.
For more information on Food Bank of the Southern Tier events and programs click here or call (607) 796-6061.