Regional Food Bank kicks off 37th Holiday Hunger Appeal

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GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York’s 37th Holiday Hunger Appeal is officially underway now through Christmas Eve. The annual fundraiser is the largest for the organization that serves 23 counties across the state.

“We all love to gather, and it’s our pleasure to bring that food to folks in need, as well as those who are sort of on the margins,” said Molly Nicol, the CEO of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.

Donations will be accepted at Crossgates Mall from now through Christmas Eve. Representatives of the food bank say monetary donations can go a long way this holiday season, with just $1 able to provide four meals. An important boost, as rising costs continue to impact finances.

“Families in need right now are paying much more at the grocery stores,” Nicol said. “Their money is not stretching to the end of the month, so we’re there to help them out.”

This year’s appeal also brings volunteers back to the mall, after the push was much different last year because of the pandemic. “Last year was a little bit difficult,” the CEO said. “We were down significantly because we had to do most of the donations online. It’s a little harder to connect with people through social media.”

“Money we collect in the mall is so critical, again, to what happens here. I’m excited to get back out here, collect, see people face to face and do some good work,” said Andrew Kaufman—the president of Aurora Inc., one of the appeal’s sponsors—who has also volunteered for the organization for three decades.

The food bank hopes to raise $70,000 throughout this holiday season to assist families across the region’s 23 counties. “Demand at the Food Bank is always high,” said Kaufman. “It’s always amazing to me, having volunteered for so long, the demand increases every year. And this past year and a half, it’s even exceeded what it’s always done.”

If you would like to donate, volunteers are stationed at the food bank booth near the Apple Store on the first floor of the mall. While the organization will never turn away food donations, representatives say monetary funds will stretch further to assist those in need.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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