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Local food banks call on Feeding America to help after storms

Food Bank of the Southern TierFollowing storms and floods in upstate New York, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier answered calls for assistance in hard hit communities throughout Broome, Tioga, and Chemung counties in early September.

The Food Bank helped displaced households in Wellsburg through a Mobile Food Pantry distribution; transported over 2,200 pounds of household cleaning supplies and personal care items including bleach, laundry detergent, dish soap, bar soap, and shampoo to Tioga Outreach in Waverly; and delivered a truckload of disaster relief supplies to Catholic Charities Food Pantry and CHOW in Binghamton.

The Food Bank plans to continue acquiring and distributing disaster relief items to individuals and agencies for as long as necessary.

As a member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, the Food Bank was able to leverage both regional and national resources to assist with relief efforts.

"We reached out to Feeding America and within a few hours we received commitments of product from our sister food banks in New York City, Rochester, and Hillside, New Jersey," explained Natasha Thompson, President and CEO of the Food Bank.

Local donors such as Wegmans, Tops, Sysco, Jubilee and Behlogs also responded quickly to the Food Bank’s request for assistance. The Seneca Beverage Corporation in Elmira Heights allowed the Food Bank to borrow one of their trucks to assist with distribution. "The community response to this tragedy has been truly inspiring," added Thompson.

The Food Bank currently is building its inventory of disaster relief items including water, baby items, non- perishable, easy to prepare foods, and cleaning supplies for relief centers in affected communities as well as through the Food Bank’s network of member agencies, including food pantries and meal sites. In areas where pantries and meal sites were affected by the flood, the Food Bank distributes disaster relief items through its Mobile Food Pantry Program with the help of its volunteers.

In September, named the Food Bank of the Southern Tier as one of the recipients of grants to assist the victims of Hurricane Irene. This grant was made possible by the Gifts That Give More [tm] program. also supports Feeding America's work nationwide through the "Click Here To Give" program at The Hunger Site.

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