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Buffalo Bills, Wegmans team up to support local food-insecure families with food allergies and special diet needs

BBSP-009_Wegmans Food Allergy Program_Web (1)

Wegmans and the Buffalo Bills are teaming up to support food-insecure families with food allergies and special diet needs.

From May 4 through May 18, customers at Wegmans' Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Southern Tier, New York, stores can purchase select allergen-friendly and special diet food items to donate to each store's local food bank and their member agencies.

Benefitting food banks include FeedMore WNY in Buffalo, Foodlink in Rochester, Food Bank Central New York in Syracuse, and Food Bank of the Southern Tier in New York's Southern Tier area.

This year, Wegmans allergen-friendly products include Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie Mix, Organic Creamy Sunflower Butter, Daiya Mac & Cheeze and more. Many of these allergen-friendly products can be purchased for under $10 to support the food drive.

"We're excited to partner with the Buffalo Bills and our local food banks on this community initiative," said Patty Kaminski, SVP, Buffalo Division of Wegmans. "We see more and more customers looking for food allergy products, and we know that there's a great need to get these special diet items to those who need them but may need support to feed their families."

This initiative hits close to home for head coach Sean McDermott and his family since his kids are impacted by food allergies.

"We all are one in this fight for food allergy awareness," McDermott said. "Two of my kids have been directly affected by food allergies."

McDermott visited the Wegmans location on McKinley this week to voice his support for the Wegmans/Bills partnership.

"Really, two reasons why I'm here today: one is to help build awareness and two is to help make sure that the people affected by this get the resources that they need at their fingertips," McDermott said.


Jamie McDermott, wife of Sean McDermott, and also expressed why she continues to be a food allergy advocate in the community.

"From a mother's perspective, I can tell you that it affects our family and many others a great deal. There were difficult lessons learned over the years and as parents, there is rarely a time you're not thinking about this," Jamie McDermott said. "We are so very grateful for Wegmans and this partnership. It means a lot to us because we know we are not the only family that is affected by food allergies, and if we can help just one family by making it easier for them to access safe foods for their families, it will be worth it."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 13 children are impacted by food allergies. Because there is no cure for food allergies, one of the best ways to build awareness on the issue is to hold food drives for those in the community who need additional help finding allergen-free foods.

"Food insecurity exists in all zip codes, and the number of people seeking nutritional assistance through our partner agencies is increasing. For people living with food allergies, finding food that is safe to eat is imperative. We are incredibly grateful to Coach McDermott and his family, the Buffalo Bills, and Wegmans for raising awareness about this important need and organizing this food drive to ensure our neighbors with special diets have the assistance they need. Our partner food pantries will be thrilled to stock their shelves with these highly requested items," said Tara A. Ellis, president and CEO of FeedMore WNY.

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