Money Will Provide USDA Lunches to More Than 1600 Kids this Summer through CHOWbus Program
The Southern Tier Credit Union Alliance has made a $4,000 gift to CHOW, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse, to purchase USDA lunches that will be distributed to more than 1,600 children in the local area this summer through the hunger relief agency’s CHOWbus low-cost/no-cost mobile farmers market program.
The Southern Tier Credit Union Alliance, a cooperative of federal credit unions operating in the local region, raised the money for the gift from among its members. It had hoped to raise $3,600 toward the project, but in the end exceeded its target, bringing the total gift to $4,000. The Alliance has also donated 500 paper shopping bags to the CHOWbus program that consumers can use to carry home the fresh produce they obtain from the mobile market.
Area credit unions that contributed toward the Alliance’s gift include Empower Federal Credit Union, GHS Federal Credit Union, Horizons Federal Credit Union, SEFCU, Sidney Federal Credit Union, UHS Employees Federal Credit Union and Visions Federal Credit Union.
“We’re incredibly grateful to the Southern Tier Credit Union Alliance for this wonderful gift,” said Michael Leahey, CHOW Director. “During the school year, kids have access to the in-school USDA breakfast and lunch programs, but once summer vacation starts and the schools are closed, those meal programs often cease operation. Providing USDA lunches to kids in need during the summer months through our CHOWbus program really helps to fill a gap in the community’s effort to fight child hunger.”
The CHOWbus mobile farmers market is the newest ‘weapon’ in CHOW’s arsenal to fight hunger and food insecurity in our region. As a low-cost/no-cost farmers market, it travels to sites throughout Broome County where residents would otherwise have little or no access to affordable fresh, healthy produce. During the summer it also serves as a means to deliver USDA lunches to children who need them, along with supplemental food boxes for the children’s families.
The mission of the Southern Tier Credit Union Alliance is to create awareness of credit unions and to educate the community about the credit union movement through public relations, marketing and community involvement.
CHOW is a program of the Broome County Council of Churches. Headquartered in Binghamton, the Council collaborates with many facets of the community to provide services to the hungry, elderly and lonely, disabled, sick, imprisoned, homeless and poor, and the youth of Broome County.