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Local Government Officials Announce CHOW Food Drive Challenge

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This morning, local leaders announced the "Government Plaza Thanksgiving Food Challenge" that will encourage community members and government employees to donate non-perishable food items to help families in need through CHOW.

The challenge is bringing together state, county, and city employees in a friendly competition that, in turn, will result in helping the community. 

"This is a perfect example of how the power of partnerships can make a difference in our community," Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said. "Broome County is proud to be helping feed families this Thanksgiving and I encourage our residents to take some time next week to drop off those non-perishable food items at Government Plaza."

CHOW says 1 in 8 people and 1 in 5 children in Broome County are food insecure. CHOW Director Jack Seman says the months of November and December are especially difficult when families are dealing with additional expenses like heating their homes, which can take away from their food budgets. With the help of partner agencies, community meals and nonprofit organizations, CHOW is able to distribute over 2.2 million pounds of food each year to those who are in need.

From Nov. 12 to 14, CHOW collection barrels will be available for donations from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the lobbies of the State Office Building, at 44 Hawley St, the Broome County Office Building, at 60 Hawley St, and Binghamton City Hall.

The donation challenge will conclude at the end of the week, with items from each of the three offices tallied up to determine which building collected the most food.

"This is a great idea — for the three of us to come together for a truly wonderful cause," City of Binghamton Mayor Rich David said. "Between the three buildings, there's clearly hundreds, if not over a thousand, employees. It is nice to have a nice friendly, challenging competition. We're three certainly competitive individuals, so it's nice to be able to work on the same page toward a wonderful goal and cause."

For those who don't have the time or means to go shopping at the grocery store, donations can be made online Here. For every dollar that is donated, CHOW says they are able to distribute four meals to families in need.

"We're so fortunate to live in a community that truly cares for those in need," New York State Senator Fred Akshar said. "I'm urging everyone across our community to consider helping us collect food or making a donation toward the purchase of meals. For some families this Thanksgiving, your donation could make all the difference."