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Helping families in need

Posted at: 11/16/2012 6:30 PM
Updated at: 11/16/2012 6:35 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

The numbers are alarming. One in six Americans are hungry, including more than one in five children. And with the holidays right around the corner, local food banks are working around the clock trying to make sure families have food on the table.

While most of us are preparing for the holidays, a lot of people are more concerned about basic necessities like food, clothes and shelter. Foodlink is trying to help 20,000 people through out the holiday season in our area and they could use a little help themselves.

It's the most wonderful time of the year, but for some it can be the most difficult.

Jeannette Batiste said, “It's absolutely unacceptable that members of our community would not be able to partake.

Jeannette Batiste is the Chief Operating Officer for Foodlink. A regional food bank distributing more than 13 million pounds of food to our area-annually. Their holiday wish this year is to make sure no one goes hungry.

Batiste said, “We want to make sure that families in our community that are struggling are able to celebrate thanksgiving which is truly an American tradition.

Foodlink is expected to help more than 20,000 people this holiday season. They have 10,000 baskets ready to go for thanksgiving alone.

Batiste said, “We have squash in there. We have apples, onions, potatoes, cabbage in addition to a turkey.”

Even though they distribute millions of pounds of food a year, it's still not enough.

Batiste said, “Need has actually grown substantially in rural communities, in suburban communities and there's an on going growth in the urban community in the city of Rochester.”

Foodlink says 12% of our ten county region lives in poverty. Batiste says the need has been on a steady rise for years. She says local families need help more than ever especially during this time of year.

Batiste said, “Over Thanksgiving, when we celebrate the great abundance I think it's really important that we truly think about these families.”

Foodlink will spend about $200,000 this holiday season. They are still trying to raise money with just one week left. One way they are raising money is through their "Check Out Hunger" campaign. They say this initiative is very critical to the work food link does year round.

You can actually make donations through Wegmans. When you're paying for your groceries there are slips you can buy to help out families in need. For more information on how you can help, click here.