Food Bank's 'Hunger Drive' tops $750K

March 6, 2013 Updated Mar 6, 2013 at 8:33 AM EDT

By Tracey Drury, Buffalo Business First

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Food Bank's 'Hunger Drive' tops $750K

March 6, 2013 Updated Mar 6, 2013 at 8:33 AM EDT

The Food Bank of WNY Inc. raised a record $752,931 during its 21st annual Check Out Hunger drive, a 2 percent increase from last year.

Funds came through cash register donations by customers at nine local retailers, who had the option of adding onto their bill at check-out.

The event has become the nonprofit agency's largest annual fundraiser, with this year's profit enabling the distribution of 3.8 million meals to individuals and families served by 343 member agencies in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties.

Participating retailers in this year's event included: Dash's Market; Lexington Co-Operative; Market in the Square; NOCO Express; Premier Group; Premier Gourmet; Price Rite; Tops Friendly Markets; and Wegmans.

Marylou Borowiak, Food Bank president and CEO, said the promotion goes beyond generating funds to increasing awareness about hunger in the community.

"The funds from this campaign go a long way in helping with our mission of fighting hunger in the four counties we serve," she said.

With total revenue of $16 million, the Food Bank delivers more than 11.3 million pounds of food to food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, after school programs and senior citizen centers in the four-county region.