2023 ‘Thanksgiving Food Challenge’ receives 14,000 meals, Team University accepts the most donations

Published: Nov. 21, 2023 at 12:10 PM EST
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Local officials gathered in downtown Binghamton on Tuesday to announce that more than 14,000 meals were donated as part of the annual Downtown Thanksgiving Food Challenge.

The friendly competition, typically held between Binghamton, Broome County and state-level governments, actually saw its newcomer, Team University, accept the most donations. Every year, donation bins are set up at each of their office buildings for people to make a donation. The group that receives the most donations wins the challenge.

This year CHOW collection barrels were set out in each participant’s lobby from Nov. 13 through the 17. The drive collects non-perishable foods and cash donations.

Team University, which is comprised of the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator and the Binghamton University College of Community & Public Affairs, took home the “Golden Yam Can” award for this year. It defeated the defending champion Team State.

The Binghamton University Small Business Development Center Business Advisor Robin Alpaugh said they look forward to defending their title in the next challenge.

“This is truly a win for our community, and we are so fortunate to live in an area that gives back and gives back so quickly and so much,” said Alpaugh. “I just wanted to thank everybody who participated this year, and we look forward to defending our Binghamton University inaugural title next year.”

Donated meals benefit the Broome County Council of Churches’ Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse, also known as CHOW. You can still make a donation to the organization by following this link. Last year, more than 15,000 meals were donated.

According to Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo’s Office, one in eight people and one and six children in Broome County are food insecure. For every dollar donated, CHOW is able to distribute five meals to families in need.

This is the fifth year of the competition.