ELMSFORD, N.Y. -- The Food Bank of Westchester honored local hunger-fighting champions at the eighth annual Hunger Hero Awards Breakfast at Abigail Kirsch at Tappan Hill, Tarrytown. The event honors businesses, groups and individuals who have made exceptional efforts in fighting hunger in the Westchester community in the past year.
The 2013 Hunger Heroes Awards winners are:
• Leake & Watts Healthy Futures Program and Youth Gardens won the Service Provider Award, which recognizes an agency or program for its commitment to alleviating hunger and improving lives.The Healthy Futures Program and Youth Gardens partners with the Food Bank for Westchester to plant, cultivate and harvest fresh produce for Westchester’s hungry. Leake & Watts provides the land and the students to do the labor; the Food Bank provides the seeds and the horticultural expertise to make the gardens grow and produce abundantly.
• Duke Searles, of the Montrose VA Hospital Supportive Housing Food Pantry, won the Volunteer Award. This award recognizes a volunteer or group that has provided outstanding service alleviating hunger in the community. Duke leads a dozen volunteers who collect, store and distribute food several days a week at the VA Hospital Food Pantry.
• Panera Bread, which has eight Westchester cafe-bakeries owned by Lowell Farkas, won the Donor Award. The award recognizes the generosity of an individual or corporation in the fight against hunger in Westchester. Farkas makes a donation to the Food Bank after each store opening. The individual café-bakeries also donate breads and other foods to local food pantries.
• ShopRite was given the Corporate Service Award, which is given to a corporation that supports the Food Bank in multiple ways. ShopRite generously supports the Food Bank’s Check-Out Hunger and Adopt-A-Pantry programs and donates frozen turkeys for distribution to hungry people over the holidays.
• The Community Food Pantry of Tarrytown/Ossining was the first-ever recipient of the Michal Winter Memorial Award for Agency Excellence. The Community Food Pantry focuses on distribution of fresh produce.The award is named after Winter, formerly of Mount Kisco, who was the Food Bank’s Agency Relations Coordinator from 2005-2011, when she left the position because of illness. She passed away in February 2013 after a long battle with cancer.
Stop & Shop won the Golden Scoop trophy for the fourth straight year for winning a corporate competition.
The Food Bank for Westchester is located at 200 Clearbrook Road, Elmsford. It acquires, warehouses and distributes seven million pounds of food annually to 230 hunger-relief organizations, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day care and residential programs.