JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. – One local junior hockey team is supporting a long-standing tradition of giving back to the community. The Southern Tier Hockey Association’s Bantam A Jr. Devils Travel Hockey Team hosted a “food-raiser” to donate shopping carts full of non-perishable food items to CHOW.

The Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW) works with a network of 30 food pantries and over 30 soup kitchens in Broome County. CHOW depends on the generosity of giving people, like the junior hockey team players.

12 boys on the team met up at Walt-Mart in Johnson City ready to fill their shopping carts. Each member of the team previously fundraised for the event and then used the money they collected to purchase non-perishable food items. Team member, Sonny Reece, raised the most money out of his teammates. Reece filled two shopping carts with the total of $130.00 that he collected with the help of his father.

“I mean, if it was myself it would be hard because I wouldn’t know when my next meal might be,” said Sonny Reece. “If we come together as a team we can maybe raise more food and more money to help out more people.”

Together the team collected $905.00 worth of food. CHOW Programs and Relations Manager, Cindy Gerhart, hopes that this event will drive the young boys to give back to the community more often.

“As adults, we model an example for all the younger generation. Any of those children can some day have injury or loose a job or something like that, and be the person who becomes food insecure. So its certainly a good lesson to learn early in life that you want to help people in case that ever happens to you.”

The first-year coach, Brad Neferis, says the “food-raiser” is a long-standing tradition for the team. While all the players are giving meals to the food insecure people in Broome County, it’s also a team-bonding experience he plans to continue for years to come.

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