TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Tuesday, Brown’s Brewing Company announced that the Troy Waterfront Chili Festival raised $4,000 for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. The funds will help provide 16,000 meals to those in need. Attendees of the Chili Festival also donated 223 pounds of groceries.

According to Chief Executive Office Molly Nichol, the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York serves about 355,000 people a month. Money raised through fundraisers helps contributes towards providing meals, and also supports a variety of programs run by the food bank including the BackPack Program and the Food as Medicine program.

“The BackPack Program is incredible,” said Nichol. “We partnered with the schools to provide food for kids on the weekends, but we soon realized that those kids are not the only hungry person in those households, so we expanded the program to include food for the family for the weekend.”

“For our Food as Medicine program, we partnered with St. Peter’s Hospital where they have patients who have just been diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension, or diseases that can be positively affected by lifestyle changes. The patient is connected with a dietician who designs meals for them. The patient gets a box of food from the food pharmacy on site and the program runs for 12 weeks because that amount of time can create a habit. We have some amazing statistics from St. Peter’s Hospital. People’s A1C levels have even gone down to the point where some of them are no longer categorized as diabetic.”

The Food Bank already has sights on fundraising events to start off the 2023 year and has been selected as a partner charity for the 2023 Cathedral in Bloom, which will run from January 13 to 15. The Food Bank has also been chosen as the beneficiary of the 2023 Hattie’s Mardi Gras on January 28.