Food Bank for Westchester Celebrates Hunger Heroes - Non-profit receives $70,000 grant from Westchester Community Foundation

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The Food Bank for Westchester recently hosted its Fourth Annual Hunger Heroes Awards Breakfast to honor individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly toward the alleviation of hunger in Westchester. Judy Matson and Debbie McCarthy served as event co-chairs, and Tony Aiello, Westchester CBS-TV news reporter, served as emcee for the event. Catherine Marsh, Executive Director, Westchester Community Foundation, was the guest speaker, and on behalf of Westchester Community Foundation, she presented a grant for $70,000 to the Food Bank. The grant is one of the largest the Hartsdale-based foundation has given.

The Food Bank for Westchester recently hosted its Fourth Annual Hunger Heroes Awards Breakfast to honor individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly toward the alleviation of hunger in Westchester. Judy Matson and Debbie McCarthy served as event co-chairs, and Tony Aiello, Westchester CBS-TV news reporter, served as emcee for the event.

Catherine Marsh, Executive Director, Westchester Community Foundation, was the guest speaker, and on behalf of Westchester Community Foundation, she presented a grant for $70,000 to the Food Bank. The grant is one of the largest the Hartsdale-based foundation has given.

"Since our mission is to improve the quality of life in Westchester, it is our responsibility to support the Food Bank in its efforts to create a hunger-free environment here," said Marsh. "The economic crisis, coupled with job loss and home foreclosures makes that responsibility more important than ever."

Mount Vernon's Karen O'Brien of Community Services Associates (CSA) at the Sacred Heart Church received the Volunteer Award. O'Brien helps prepare meals for more than 100 adults each day and prepares more than 200 dinners each holiday season for people in Westchester who are hungry.

The Yonkers Community Action Program (YCAP) Emergency Food Pantry received the Service Provider Award for its 30 years of service reducing poverty and fighting hunger in Westchester. Executive Director Linda Heyward accepted the award on the organization's behalf.

Jason Finkelberg of Pleasantville, general manager at 107.1 The PEAK, received the Donor Award in recognition of the station's myriad fundraising tools that support the Food Bank.

The Corporate Service Award was presented to Fuji Film for its employees' decade of hands-on support and volunteerism at the Food Bank, which includes annual food repacking, food drives and funding.

"The demand for food is skyrocketing in some areas of the county by more than 100%. Though the Food Bank is a booming business in providing food for children, working families, seniors and the newly unemployed who no longer have resources to cover all their basic needs, we still need the support of volunteers, donors and service providers," said Christina Rohatynskyj, Executive Director of the Food Bank. "We are so proud to honor those companies and individuals who have dedicated themselves to helping to fight hunger."

The Food Bank for Westchester, one of eight food banks in New York State, acquires, warehouses and distributes food to 200 Westchester County hunger relief organizations, including food pantries and soup kitchens, among others. These efforts feed some or all of the 200,000 people in Westchester who are hungry or at risk of hunger. The Food Bank mission is supported by an extensive donor and volunteer network.

The Food Bank for Westchester is located at 358 Saw Mill River Road, Millwood, NY 10546. For more information, visit http://www.foodbankforwestchester.org or call 914-923-1100.

About the Food Bank for Westchester: The Food Bank for Westchester's mission is to lead, engage and educate Westchester County in creating a hunger-free environment. It solicits and administers donations from both the public and private sector, distributing food through approximately 200 hunger relief member agencies. Its core activity is the collection and distribution of donated, government and purchased food. The Food Bank distributes more than five million pounds of food to member agencies annually.

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Lauren B. Kaufman
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