FeedMore WNY celebrates milestone
in capital campaign

Delaware North announces $1 million corporate donation, matching challenge and signature beverage fundraiser to support campaign

FeedMore WNY has reached nearly two-thirds of its fundraising goal to establish a permanent home for the organization and build brighter futures for Western New Yorkers of all ages experiencing food insecurity and joblessness.

With this milestone reached, FeedMore WNY is kicking off the public phase of its campaign and inviting the community to participate in this critical project. Delaware North CEO Lou Jacobs is co-chairing the campaign with community volunteer Ann McCarthy, and Delaware North is donating $1 million to demonstrate the Western New York business community’s commitment to the project.

The campaign will enable FeedMore WNY to build a 197,700 square-foot facility in Hamburg, N.Y. – the approximate geographic center of FeedMore WNY’s four-county service area – that will increase warehouse and commercial kitchen capacity and expand its workforce development program, among other critical capacity improvements to tackle root causes of food insecurity, increase access to safe and nutritious food for all and transform lives through free career training and nutrition education opportunities.

The project cost is an estimated $99.8 million; to date $63.3 million has been committed in public and private funds to the campaign.

Of the total current campaign commitments, $24 million was allocated by New York State Governor Kathy Hochul and state lawmakers in the 2023-2024 budget. However, FeedMore WNY is still in need of many more commitments – both large and small – to build this mission-critical facility.

Delaware North was one of the first organizations to donate to the campaign and is the largest corporate donor to-date. Now in an additional show of support, Delaware North is announcing a dollar-for-dollar match of the first $250,000 raised from the public campaign, bringing their total contribution to $1.25 million.

The donations are the latest in Delaware North’s long-standing partnership with FeedMore WNY.

Each week, Delaware North employees volunteer to deliver meals to homebound neighbors as partners of FeedMore WNY’s Adopt-A-Route program, and Delaware North employees frequently volunteer to sort and pack food in FeedMore WNY’s warehouse and tend the Community Garden.

“FeedMore takes great care of Western New York’s most vulnerable neighbors through a vast network of hunger-relief efforts, but the needs of our community have outgrown the capacity of their current facilities,” Lou Jacobs, CEO of Delaware North, who also serves on the FeedMore Board, said. “Delaware North is committed to partnering with FeedMore through this campaign to help meet the urgent needs of Western New York, and we’re grateful to our community for joining us in this important mission.”

Furthermore, Delaware North will raise awareness and funds for the campaign at its Western New York locations with the launch of its signature cocktail – the 716 Spritz.

During the month of October, $1 from every 716 Spritz sold will be donated to FeedMore WNY’s capital campaign, and customers will be able to scan QR codes at Delaware North locations to learn more about the campaign and make direct donations.

Locations where the 716 Spritz will be available include KeyBank Center, Highmark Stadium, the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, Hamburg Gaming and Patina 250.

“Time and time again, the Western New York community has shown up to support FeedMore WNY and our food-insecure neighbors in their times of need. This is a time of need for FeedMore WNY; we cannot effectively serve our community with the critical capacity constraints of our current facilities, and we need Western New York’s support to secure the space and infrastructure we require to continue our mission,” Tara A. Ellis, president and CEO of FeedMore WNY, said.

Eillis continued, “We are immensely grateful to Delaware North for kicking off the public phase of our capital campaign with their incredible $1 million donation, their $250,000 match challenge and their signature beverage fundraiser. Their steadfast partnership has enabled our hunger-relief work for decades, and their generous support of our capital campaign will help us fulfill our mission for generations to come. We are grateful to the foundations, corporations, estates and additional community partners who have committed gifts in support of this important project, and we encourage our Western New York neighbors to assist in this effort to build a permanent home for FeedMore WNY.”

FeedMore WNY is relying on a variety of public and private funding sources for the capital campaign.

In addition to Delaware North, FeedMore WNY also has received seven-figure donations from the Anne Alford and Manson Fiske Surdam Charitable Foundation, the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, the David and Joan Rogers Family Foundation, as well as funding from federal lawmakers.

The above video includes clips from the Sept. 27 press conference at FeedMore WNY’s warehouse, 91 Holt St.

In the above photo, Tara A. Ellis, left, president and CEO of FeedMore WNY, and Lou Jacobs, CEO of Delaware North, on Sept. 27 announced that FeedMore WNY is initiating the public phase of its capital campaign. Jacobs, a member of the FeedMore Board, said Delaware North will commit $1 million to the project.

FeedMore WNY volunteers and staff, in addition to members of the organization’s board, celebrated kicking off the public phase of its capital campaign.