The Buffalo Bills will host the twelfth annual Fan Food Drive prior to the August 28 Kids Day preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ralph Wilson Stadium (RWS). All food and proceeds donated through the program will be donated to the Food Bank of WNY and allocated to their children's programs.
Buffalo Bills fans are asked to bring their nonperishable food items and/or monetary donations with them to the stadium gate entrances where volunteers from the Food Bank and the Girl Scouts will be positioned to collect these items.
To kick off the program, Mary and Ralph Wilson, through the Ralph Wilson Foundation, will donate $10,000. Tops Friendly Markets will also donate an additional $5,000 and the $15,000 combined donation, through the buying power of the Food Bank of WNY, is the equivalent of purchasing 107,142 pounds of food or 82,416 meals.
"Tops has been a long-standing partner with the Buffalo Bills and Food Bank of WNY and we are proud to kick off the campaign with a donation to help feed those in our community that are less fortunate," said Frank Curci, Tops president and CEO.
Perry's Ice Cream has already begun to help by collecting $1 donations for Perry's Ice Cream novelty treats at the Bills Verizon Wireless Training Camp for select practice dates. Perry's will also be collecting $1 donations for novelties prior to the game on August 28 at the Kids Day Tailgate. All proceeds will be given back to the Food Bank's children's programs.
"Perry's has been a long-time supporter of the Food Bank of WNY, helping our neighbors, giving back to local families in our community is the best gift we can give," said Marissa Wilson, Perry's Ice Cream communications manager. "We are proud to partner with the Bills and the Girl Scouts of WNY to bring attention and support through our Fan Food Drive."
The Girl Scouts will also continue to collect food throughout the season, and at the end of the program, Perry's Ice Cream will offer a special ice cream party to the troop that collects the most food.
"As an organization dedicated to the leadership development of Girls and young women, we are delighted to partner with the Buffalo Bills, Tops, Perry's and the Food Bank of WNY in this important and timely effort to raise awareness of the continuing problem of hunger facing so many families across the nine counties of Western New York," said Cindy L. Odom, Girl Scouts of Western New York chief executive officer. "We are extremely grateful to Mr. Wilson and his wife Mary for their ongoing leadership, mentorship and support of Girls, and we look forward to building on the Kids Day momentum as our 30,000 Girl members and volunteers focus our upcoming cookie sale season on providing support to children's feeding programs."
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 to nearly 100,000 less fortunate individuals.
"We are extremely grateful to the Buffalo Bills, Perry's Ice Cream and Tops Friendly Markets for this annual Fan Food Drive and we are excited to join forces with the Girl Scouts and their Caring for Kids initiative," said Marylou Borowiak, Food Bank of WNY president and CEO. "Thirty-nine percent of those we serve are children and we have several programs directed towards feeding children. Making sure children do not go hungry is very important to us."
"The Buffalo Bills proudly partnered with Tops, Perry's, the Girl Scouts of Western New York, and the Food Bank of Western New York to develop the Fan Food Drive: Caring for Kids program, and create community awareness about the ongoing issue of hunger in Western New York," said Gretchen Geitter, Bills vice president of community relations. "The Bills Kids Day game vs. the Bengals this Saturday is a great way to kick off this program and help the Food Bank with their children's programs."
For more information regarding the Fan Food Drive: Caring for Kids, contact Mike Billoni, Food Bank of WNY marketing and public relations director at 716-852-1305 or the Bills community relations office at 716-648-1800.