BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — We all know the holiday season is a time for giving, but many of us don’t know where to start.

In Binghamton, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse, also known as CHOW, is stressing the importance of food donations.

During the holidays, they’re tasked with collecting enough food to feed thousands of families.

“Once food gets here, it comes into our warehouse, our volunteers and our employees sort it into different categories, it gets boxed up, and then it get delivered to pantries throughout Broome County,” said Jack Semen, CHOW Director.

Since CHOW began in 1976, volunteers have seen the need grow more than ever before.

“More and more children rely on free and reduced lunch. More and more people fall into food insecurity but I think one of the best parts of working for CHOW is seeing the community rise to meet that need and I know that this holiday season the community will do just that,” said Semen.

And that need continues to grow, especially during this time of the year. In Broome County alone, more than 16,000 children rely on the meals they receive in schools, meals that may not be coming during holiday break.

“During that break, a lot of people think it’s going to be a fun time, sledding, hanging out with their friends, no school, but for a lot of kids in Broome County, that means they’re not getting those two meals,” said Semen.

CHOW Director Jack Semen says giving back makes the holiday season all worth it.

“I think it’s true that to have is to give and it’s just a great feeling to be able to give someone a hot meal during the holidays. Every dollar donated to CHOW will provide four meals for the community,” said Semen.

CHOW is hoping to collect 2.2 million pounds of food by the end of the year.

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