ELMSFORD, N.Y. -- Supporters of the effort against hunger in Westchester County congregated at the Food Bank for Westchester in Elmsford on Wednesday for an important announcement.
The organization is celebrating its 25-year anniversary by launching a turkey drive in order to feed families in need during the Thanksgiving season.
Last year, the bank provided 2,000 turkeys to Westchester families. This year, they plan to donate 4,000.
"Many families are stretched so thin financially that a traditional Thanksgiving meal just simply isn't in the budget," said Ellen Lynch, Food Bank for Westchester Executive Director.
The Food Bank has also put a technological spin to their drive, allowing people to donate just by sending a text message. With a $25 donation in commemoration of the anniversary, two families can receive turkeys.
County Executive Rob Astorino was present at the kickoff ceremony, addressing the audience briefly about the importance of the food bank, and observing the first turkeys being unloaded.
"An important initiative such as this at Thanksgiving focuses attention on the fact that in our county, despite its affluence, there are so many people who go to sleep hungry," he said.
"What is most impressive about the Food Bank for Westchester is that it provides food to those who are in need year-round and not just at holiday times," he said.
The bank gives out 7 million pounds of food to over 200,000 families each year.
George Gray, of Our Lady of Sorrows parish in White Plains, spoke about the parish's efforts to aid the program in feeding families.
"We were looking for ways to help our community, and one of the first things we noticed was the hunger situation and how sad it was for such an affluent county," he said, "We found the Food Bank and the wonderful things they do, so we decided to help them out."
Captain Noel Rodriquez, of the Salvation Army Tarrytown Corps, was also present to support the new drive.
Those interested in donating can text "FB4W" to 88500 or visit the food bank's website here.