Posted at: 01/06/2013 11:28 PM
By: Dan Bazile
With hundreds of bags of donated food, volunteers load up a regional food bank truck parked in the driveway of a Guilderland couple. In less than an hour, the truck went from empty, to overflowing and the volunteers were just getting started.
11-year old Eliana Wallock says, “It’s fun walking in the snow getting the bags. The only bad part about it is most of the bags are heavy.”
Kids like Eliana and 10-year old Anna Abbruzzese came along with their parents for fun, and perhaps for a good learning experience.
Eliana says, “It's good that we're giving back to the community. But there are kids like us that don't have a bed to sleep on, and don't have food like us.”
The need seems to be getting bigger and donations are down, according to a recent report by the hunger action network of New York. The organization says 89% of food pantries served more people last year and they're struggling provide for those who need it most. Some programs had to turn people away.
Kathy Busch and her husband Bob started the food drive six years ago. To collect the food, they pass out grocery bags to her neighbors. Then she and her team volunteers go door to door to pick them up filled with food. They say the collection has been spreading from neighbors to coworkers and to complete strangers.
According to Bob, “Each year is better than the year before we're surprised every year we want to do a pound more like Jerry Lewis wanted a dollar more.”
But they're getting thousands of pounds more. The Busches say donations may be down. But they're not feeling the effects with their drive in the capital region. People seem to be extremely generous.
As for her young volunteers, they plan to be back next year.
Anna states, “I was thinking next time we do it I will get more bags so I can do more neighborhoods because it's really helpful.”