Countywide Food Drive Yields Two Tons of Food - Corporate Donation Quadruples Amount of Food Collected

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The Food Bank for Westchester, which is celebrating its 20th year of fighting hunger in Westchester, recently hosted the kick-off to a two-day countywide food drive to help feed people who are hungry here. The food drive, which was sponsored by the Westchester County government, yielded more than 10,000 pounds of food and a $20,000 donation from the MBIA Foundation Inc.

The Food Bank for Westchester, which is celebrating its 20th year of fighting hunger in Westchester, recently hosted the kick-off to a two-day countywide food drive to help feed people who are hungry here. The food drive, which was sponsored by the Westchester County government, yielded more than 10,000 pounds of food and a $20,000 donation from the MBIA Foundation Inc., bringing the total amount contributed by MBIA's Foundation to $45,000 this year.

Westchester County Executive Andy J. Spano spoke at the kick-off. "So many people are struggling, and the sad fact is that not everyone can afford to put food on their table," he said. "Even in a county like Westchester, there are families who need support every day. The food pantries have seen a significant increase in the numbers of people who need their help and not enough food to help everyone."

Willard Hill, managing director of MBIA Inc. and president of the MBIA Foundation Inc., presented the MBIA Foundation's donation to Christina Rohatynskyj, executive director of the Food Bank for Westchester.

"Every one of us is affected by the current economy, and we wanted to do something meaningful to support the community where our employees work and live. We are fortunate that we were able to respond to the County Executive's call to action for the Food Bank for Westchester," Hill said.

According to the Westchester County Department of Social Services, the number of families and individuals receiving food stamps has gone up nearly 20 percent in the last year. The need for the Food Bank's assistance has increased 15 percent over last year, and distribution of food has increased by nine percent.

"Families who are hungry or at risk of becoming hungry have an ongoing need for support," said Rohatynskyj. "We are so grateful to those who donated food and to MBIA for its very generous donation. That donation will quadruple the value of the food we can purchase for our member agencies. And we thank Shleppers Moving and Storage of Yonkers for transporting the food to our warehouse from the donation sites."

Participating municipalities included Bedford, Elmsford, Harrison, Larchmont, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, North Castle, Port Chester, Somers, Tarrytown, Tuckahoe and Yonkers.

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.

For additional information, contact the Food Bank at 914-923-1100. The Food Bank for Westchester is located at 358 Saw Mill River Road, Millwood, NY 10546.

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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