15th Annual Operation: Rock Out Hunger to help provide food, spread hope to hungry community members during pandemic

Contactless food and fund drive will run from November 17-24, 2020 at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital

In order to respond to the increased need for food assistance in the community due to the pandemic and to help make sure our neighbors in need have enough to eat this holiday season, 97 Rock, Kaleida Health, WKBW 7 Eyewitness News and FeedMore WNY will host the 15th Annual Operation: Rock Out Hunger food and fund drive. From 2 p.m. Tuesday, November 17 through 10 a.m. Tuesday, November 24, 2020, 97 Rock’s DJ Jickster will live in a FeedMore WNY trailer in the Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital parking lot, 1540 Maple Road, Williamsville, NY 14221, where he will collect donations of nonperishable food, frozen turkeys and monetary donations to benefit FeedMore WNY.

“Helping FeedMore WNY provide nutritious food to our hungry community members has always been important to me, but this year, it seems even more critical that we continue to host the Operation: Rock Out Hunger food and fund drive. There are so many people in Western New York who are struggling to get by right now because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage everyone to stop by Rock Out Hunger in order to make a safe, contactless donation to help feed their fellow neighbors in need,” DJ Jickster said.

As a kick-off to the event, Kaleida Health and its affiliates across FeedMore WNY’s four-county service area collected food donations from October 19 through November 16. “We are incredibly honored to be part of Rock Out Hunger again,” Jody Lomeo, president and CEO of Kaleida Health, said. “For the past month, 29 locations across Kaleida Health and our affiliates throughout Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties have been collecting nonperishable food items to ramp up for Rock Out Hunger, and dozens more of our employees will be volunteering at Rock Out Hunger in the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Especially during this unprecedented year, we recognize that far too many individuals and families are struggling for the most basic items and cannot celebrate the holidays in the ways that so many of us take for granted. So the Kaleida Health family is stepping up again to achieve what we hope to be another record-breaking event that will truly impact so many in our community this season.”

While hunger has long been prevalent in Western New York, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly exacerbated the need for food assistance in the community. Approximately 219,400 individuals in FeedMore WNY’s service area may be at risk of hunger due to the pandemic, including 80,550 children, according to Feeding America – the nationwide network of food banks of which FeedMore WNY is a member.

“There are so many members of our community that have been impacted by the pandemic. Food insecurity is not a new problem in our area, but because of the pandemic, it unfortunately is an issue for many more families in WNY. While Rock Out Hunger is an event that WKBW is proud to be a part of every year (alongside Kaleida Health, FeedMore WNY and 97 Rock), this year, it’s so important to support this effort to help our neighbors in need. I have no doubt that the members of WNY will continue to rise to the occasion, and we will be there to bring you these great stories on AM Buffalo and 7 Eyewitness News in the days to come,” LeAnne Markins, director of Creative Services for WKBW, said.

In addition to the collection at Operation: Rock Out Hunger, donations of food and funds can be dropped off at the Food Bank at 91 Holt Street, Buffalo, NY, 14206, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. most Saturdays. Please call FeedMore WNY at (716) 852-1305 to schedule a Saturday donation drop off. Donations also can be made online at www.feedmorewny.org.

“This year, we know that the holidays are going to look and feel different for all of us. In this time of uncertainty, one thing we want to make sure of is that no one has to go without food this holiday season and into the new year. FeedMore WNY is working tirelessly to respond to the increased need for food assistance in Western New York due to the pandemic – but we need the community’s help,” Tara A. Ellis, president and CEO of FeedMore WNY, said. “We thank DJ Jickster, 97 Rock, Kaleida Health and WKBW 7 Eyewitness News for making Operation: Rock Out Hunger possible, and we encourage the Western New York community to come out and support this safe, contactless drive to benefit our less fortunate neighbors.”

event contact information

For media inquiries, contact Catherine Shick at cshick@feedmorewny.org or (716) 822-2002.

For donation inquiries, contact Marinda Frazier at mfrazier@feedmorewny.org or (716) 822-2002.

about feedmore wny

FeedMore WNY offers dignity, hope and a brighter future by providing nutritious food, friendship and skills training to its Western New York neighbors in need. Through its Food Bank Distribution Center and partner hunger-relief agencies, as well as its Meals on Wheels and other targeted feeding programs, FeedMore WNY alleviates hunger and assists community members of all ages throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties.