HUDSON VALLEY, NY — The season of giving was kicked off by busy shoppers who helped make Thanksgiving brighter for families in need throughout the Hudson Valley. The 22nd annual Stuff-the-Bus …
HUDSON VALLEY, NY — The season of giving was kicked off by busy shoppers who helped make Thanksgiving brighter for families in need throughout the Hudson Valley. The 22nd annual Stuff-the-Bus food drive hosted by iHeartMedia was held Friday through Sunday, the weekend before Thanksgiving, at five area Stop & Shop store locations. More than 25,000 pounds of non-perishable food was collected to benefit the programs and partners of Catholic Charities in the mid-Hudson area.
iHeartMedia radio personalities, staff and volunteers spread word of the food drive to shoppers at Stop & Shop locations in Newburgh, Hyde Park, Hopewell Junction and two in Poughkeepsie. They helped load donations onto full-sized school buses, provided courtesy of Gallagher Bus Service/Leprechaun Lines, as well as vehicles provided by Friendly Auto Group and the Dutchess County Driving School. The buses delivered the food to a team of Catholic Charities staff and volunteers who unstuffed, sorted, counted, weighed and repacked thousands of food items to prepare them for the recipient food pantries, soup kitchens, parishes and other Catholic Charities’ partners in the three-county service area.
This year’s Thanksgiving Stuff-the-Bus food drive collected the equivalent of 21,499 meals. This bounty was shared with 23 different food pantries and programs in Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties. In addition, Catholic Charities distributed 80 turkeys donated by the Orange County Tavern and Restaurant Association and 470 winter coats from iHeartMedia and Mid-Hudson Subaru’s annual coat drive.
“As prosperous as the mid-Hudson region may seem, food insecurity is a reality for many who live here,” said Chuck Benfer, iHeartMedia Market President. “Over the past 22 years, the Stuff-the-Bus food drive has helped restock area food pantries at a time when the need increases.”
Those in need of assistance from a food pantry should contact Catholic Charities for additional information: Sullivan County, 845/794-8080, ext. 2870; Orange County, 845/561-1665; Ulster County, 845/340-9170.
Visit www.cccsos.org for more information.