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Bills to host annual food drive at stadium

Orchard Park, NY – As part of Hunger Action Month, the Buffalo Bills will host the eleventh annual Fan Food Drive prior to the September 7th game against the Seattle Seahawks at Ralph Wilson Stadium (RWS). All donations will benefit the Food Bank of Western New York.

The Hunger Action Month initiative was created to inform and encourage Western New Yorkers to take action now against the problem of hunger in the community.

Monetary donations and non-perishable food items will be collected at all RWS gates by volunteers headed by Fan Food Drive chairperson, Mary Wilson, wife of Ralph Wilson, Bills owner. Mrs. Wilson will team with the Bills Women's Association, Buffalo Jills, Student Leaders, and Food Bank staff for the collection efforts.

As an added incentive to donate to the Food Bank, Mary and Ralph Wilson will match all monetary donations collected at the gates through the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation. In addition, Bills local partner Tops Friendly Markets will match the non-perishable food donations pound for pound up to 3,000 pounds.

Last year a total of $24,000 and 2,100 pounds of food was donated to the Food Bank as part of the Fan Food Drive. Over the last ten years, the Fan Food Drive has collected more than 66,000 pounds of food and raised nearly $150,000 for the Food Bank of Western New York.

The Food Bank's mission is to feed the less fortunate in the community and these donations help their cause immensely. The Food Bank, through its network of over 400 member agencies in Western New York, distributes close to one million pounds of food each month. This equates to 1,180,000 meals provided to nearly 100,000 less fortunate individuals every month.

It is hard to find a community in the United States that is immune from hunger. One in 10 Americans is unsure from where its next meal will come. The Western New York community is certainly facing the reality of a growing number of hungry families. Throughout the region, many pantries are complaining of empty shelves, and soup kitchens are serving more than double the number of clients they served last year.

In recent years, a new class of poor has arisen—the working poor. Working poor families are playing by the rules. They work, pay taxes and add to the nation's productivity—but they still do not earn enough to make ends meet. Unfortunately, one of the consequences of poverty is hunger. The present state of the economy, increased fuel costs, and the increases in cost of food in general have made even more people dependent on the Food Bank for help.

For more information, please contact Food Bank of Western New York Development Manager Lori Stachowiak at 716-852-1305 or the Bills community relations office at 716-648-1800.

Founded in 1959, the Buffalo Bills are one of the most storied franchises in the National Football League (NFL). The Bills have won two American Football League (AFL) Championships (1964 - 1965) and won an NFL record four straight AFC Championships (1990 - 1993) that included four trips to the Super Bowl. The Bills pride themselves on supporting the Western New York community by establishing player outreach programs, supporting NFL youth initiatives and increasing community awareness. For more Bills community relations information, please visit or call (716) 648-1800.

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