Community Matters August 2011

The Regional Food Bank
Contact: Joanne Dwyer
Director of Food Industry Relations & Business Development Representative
Helping to feed the hungry and prevent food waste
The Regional Food Bank is a non-profit organization that has been helping to feed the poor and hungry since 1982. As the only organization of its kind in northeastern New York, it collects large donations of food from the food industry and distributes it to charitable agencies serving people in need throughout 23 counties. In urban, rural, and suburban communities, the Regional Food Bank provides 25 million pounds of food a year to 1,000 agencies.
The mission of the Regional Food Bank is to alleviate hunger and prevent food waste by acquiring food and grocery items that are available for donation and distributing those products judiciously to its member agencies. It operates in an efficient manner, devoting 89 cents of every dollar to programs and operations and striving to minimize costs and maximize the amount of food provided to agencies. The organization distributes $10 to $12 worth of food for every dollar it spends.
Every four years, the Regional Food Bank participates in a national hunger study as a member of Feeding America, the national network of food banks. Hunger in America 2010 revealed that hunger remains a serious problem in upstate New York. The Regional Food Bank provides food assistance to approximately 244,400 people in the region each year. In a given week, approximately 38,600 people receive food from agencies the Regional Food Bank serves.
There are many ways for members of the community to help:

  • Volunteer – There are many opportunities for all ages: sorting and repacking food at the warehouse, working at the Regional Food Bank’s Patroon Land Farm, helping out in the office, volunteering for the Holiday Hunger Appeal, or joining an event committee.
  • Support fundraising events and appeals – Upcoming fall events include the Chefs & Vintners’ Harvest Dinner at Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia on Thursday, Sept. 22, and the Auction Gala at The Hall of Springs in Saratoga Springs on Friday, Nov. 18.
  • Conduct your own food/fund drive – The Regional Food Bank works with individuals and businesses to help them develop drives throughout the year.

Additional information can be found at

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