New AmazonSmile Holiday Campaign

This holiday season, Amazon will be sharing inspirational charity stories with our millions of Facebook followers. Starting Nov. 20, Amazon would like to invite you to participate in our new #SeasonOfSmiles social media campaign by posting stories about the work your organization is doing and how AmazonSmile donations are helping to further your mission. Amazon will review these charity posts and from Nov. 28 through Dec 31, Amazon will share one charity story per day on Amazon’s Facebook page.

These stories should focus on the great work that your organization is doing. They are the authentic, heartfelt, and mission-focused stories you would typically share with your supporters. Simply integrate how AmazonSmile donations are helping your cause, include the campaign hashtag, #SeasonOfSmiles, and remind supporters that they can help support your organization by shopping at smile.amazon.com.

You can post as many stories as you want on whichever social media channels you prefer. We will select stories using the following criteria.

  1. Stories are positive and emotionally compelling
  2. Stories mention how AmazonSmile donations are helping your organization
  3. Posts are visually compelling with photos or video
  4. Posts include the campaign hashtag #SeasonOfSmiles
  5. Posts include your unique AmazonSmile link: smile.amazon.com/ch/15-0547374

We are excited to share these stories and make our customers and charities smile this holiday season. Thank you for your participation in the AmazonSmile program.

Shop at smile.amazon.com

The holidays are approaching and everyone will be busy shopping for gifts, decorations, and more.  By shopping at smile.amazon.com, Broome County Council Of Churches Inc can increase its AmazonSmile donations.

Shop for everyone on your gift list this holiday at smile.amazon.com/ch/15-0547374  and Amazon donates to Broome County Council Of Churches Inc.

On campus food pantry combats student food insecurity

In the 1990s, it was just a drawer in the Binghamton University Financial Aid Services office where students could grab a few packets of ramen. Now, the Bear Necessities Food Pantry is an entire room stocked with canned goods, toiletries and frozen meals on the third floor of the University Union.In the fall of 2014, the pantry had just 58 users. Last spring, 222 students used the free service, thanks to the increased promotion of its resources. The Dean of Students Office, which operates the food pantry, hired a team of interns this semester just to manage it.

Ryan Goss, one of the pantry’s interns and a junior majoring in economics, said that even with the increase, many students are still unaware of the resource.

“My goal for the program is to spread more awareness,” Goss said. “I’m sure there are a lot of people that need it but don’t know about it.”

The pantry was given its own room in 2016 when Qiana Watson, the new case management coordinator at the Dean of Students Office, took over operations for the program.

According to a 2016 report by Students Against Hunger, 48 percent of college students had experience food insecurity, or lack of access to enough affordable, nutritious food, in the past month.

One way Goss and the Dean of Students Office are trying to spread awareness is through the pantry’s monthly produce giveaway in the Tillman Lobby of the University Union. Two weeks ago, they gave away large quantities of cucumbers to students.

Since the Bear Necessities Food Pantry is mainly funded through donations, it depends on students, faculty members and organizations to donate food, toiletries and money. Organizations such as the Food Recovery Network, which makes individual meals; the Food Co-op, which donates vegan food; and the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW), which sends overstocked food, all work with and donate food to the program.

Donations aren’t limited to food, though; they can range from can openers to Old Navy flip-flops to coats. The pantry aims to provide students with a variety of goods that they may otherwise not be able to afford.

“There were times where I would be on campus and I would see students without a hat, scarf or glove on and then I would say, ‘Hey, do you have these items?’ and they would say no,” Watson said. “And then I would say, come walk with me to the food pantry so that I can give you some.”

Everything in the room is available to all registered BU students.

“There is no restriction, there is no screening process,” Goss said. “All you need is your Binghamton ID.”

According to Watson, many of the students utilizing the resource are international students and students living off campus. During the 2016-17 academic year, 70 percent of students using the pantry lived off campus, 26 percent lived on campus and the rest didn’t report their residence.

Watson said while the pantry is a great resource, it’s only a temporary relief.

“I try to remind people to be courteous of others who may be coming to the pantry and to find other avenues,” Watson said.

Since students need to fill out intake forms when they use the pantry, staff can see who is using the pantry more than the average amount. Staff members then reach out to these students asking if they need other community pantries or church charities to help fulfill their needs.

Watson said operating the pantry is a particularly fulfilling part of her job since she, too, has struggled with food insecurity.

“When I was in college, I was a food insecure person,” she said. “And no one knew that.”

Watson said she wants the resource to be accessible to all students who find themselves in a position of need.

“If I have food, I would rather feed you and not let you be hungry than worry if you’re someone that has a need because you have on new sneakers,” Watson said. “Anybody could have bought you those sneakers. If you’re a person in need, you’re a person in need.”

To see the article, go to:  https://www.bupipedream.com/news/88022/on-campus-food-pantry-combats-student-food-insecurity/

‘Food-A-Bago’ collecting food to help feed Broome County

TOWN OF CHENANGO (WBNG) — Food-A-Bago 2017 is currently underway. It’s an event that’s put on by the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW), that has been in the Southern Tier community for several years.

“This is CHOW’s largest independent food drive of the year we usually collect around 10 thousand pounds of food and its the perfect way to get started for the holidays and winter,” Jack Seman, the CHOW Director explained.

An RV is set up at the Weis on Upper Front Street in the town of Chenango. The goal is to fill it up with non-perishable food items to help feed the hungry.

According to Seman, more than 20 thousand people in Broome County will face hunger in a year.

“The need is great and it continues to grow every year, so this is just one of the biggest ways that people can help out is just to give people food,” Seman said.

Seeing people step up to help means a lot to Seman.

“Just to see the community come and help itself,” Seman added. “It brings so much joy, just the gratitude that the community is there for itself to help the less fortunate.’

Food items are being collected through November 6. Drop off hours are from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the weekend.

All items will be picked up by the CHOW truck Monday, eventually making their way to the tables in need.

To see the full article, go to:  http://www.wbng.com/story/36739493/food-a-bago-collecting-food-to-help-feed-broome-county

15th Annual Holiday Traditions Arts & Craft Show!!

Food-A-Bago returns to collect donations for CHOW

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – An annual campaign to collect food for the hungry is off to a fast start.

The Food-A-Bago is back at the parking lot of the Weis Market on Upper Front Street.

The week-long event, organized by Townsquare Media, collects donations of non-perishable food for CHOW.

Local radio personalities, like Louie G of the Wild 104 morning show, camp out in the camper during the day, greeting donors as they drop off items.

Louie G says if you’re in a hurry, cash donations work as well.

“If you don’t have time to stop and bring food, for every dollar that CHOW takes in, they can buy $7 worth of food. So they can buy a lot more with their resources than we can buy walking into a store,” said Louie G.

This is also the 3rd year of the shopping cart challenge, a new tradition started by the Old Union Hotel.

Businesses and organizations fill a shopping cart with food to donate, and then issue a challenge to another group to do the same.

Radio personalities from Wild 104, 98.1 the Hawk and 99.1 the Whale are in the Food-A-Bago from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m weekdays and until 8 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday.

There will be collection barrels if you come at another time.

The Food-A-Bago wraps up next Monday morning.

To see the full article, go to:  http://www.binghamtonhomepage.com/news/local-news/food-a-bago-returns-to-collect-donations-for-chow/847700190

Local organizations awarded proceeds from Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant All-Star Golf Tournament

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — The numbers are in from this year’s Jim “Mudcat” Grant All-Star Golf Tournament.

Local officials and Security Mutual Life President and CEO Bruce Boyea announced the charity tournament raised a total of $46,000.

The officials presented the proceeds to the benefiting organizations on Wednesday. The Broome County Urban League, Boys and Girls Club of Binghamton, Catholic Charities of Broome County and the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse were each given $10,000.

“To be able to give 10 thousand dollar check to those organizations that do so much within Broome County and the City is just incredible.” Bruce Boyea, Security Mutual Life President and CEO.

A portion of the funds will also go to assist homeless United States military veterans in Broome County.

Officials also announced the next Jim “Mudcat” Grant All-Star Golf Tournament will be held on August 30, 2018.

To see the full article, go to:  http://www.wbng.com/story/36683156/local-organizations-awarded-proceeds-from-jim-mudcat-grant-all-star-golf-tournament

‘Dining for Dollars’ fundraiser helping seniors

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Faith in Action held its ‘Dining for Dollars’ fundraiser Thursday night at the Polish Community Center in Binghamton.

Thursday night’s fundraiser included special guest servers such as Broome County Sheriff David Harder, State Senator Fred Akshar, Assembly Woman Donna Lupardo, among others.

Faith in Action has been a part of the Broome County Council of Churches since 1996. It provides non-medical services such as transportation for seniors and more.

Director of Faith in Action volunteer, Sue Spencer said, “Our program helps the seniors in our community stay independent, because as they get older they are no longer able to drive, or their families no longer live in the area, but they would like to stay in their homes. Our volunteers help them get to the doctors and the grocery store so they can stay healthy and independent,” said Spencer.

The event included raffles, a cash bar and live musical entertainment.

To see the full article, go to:  http://www.wbng.com/story/36587796/dining-for-dollars-fundraiser-raises-money-to-help-seniors

Don’t Forget: October 12, 2017, FIAV Dining for Dollars

Reminder: FIAV Dining for Dollars, October 12, 2017