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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

ALBANY -- New York State is partnering with Walmart, Wegmans, the National Supermarket Association, The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo and FreshDirect this Thanksgiving Week to help deliver meals to feed more than 35,000 people statewide.

"Each year, Thanksgiving provides a time to not only join with family and friends to reflect on what we are grateful for, but also it is also a time to help fellow New Yorkers," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "The partnerships we have forged with these companies ensure that families throughout the state will have a warm, nutritious meal that they can enjoy with loved ones. As the holiday season continues, I encourage all New Yorkers to find ways to pitch in and do something to help someone in need."

Thanks to generous food donations from Walmart, Wegmans and the National Supermarket Association, meals are being assembled and packaged to feed over 35,000 New Yorkers statewide. Each meal includes turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, vegetables, cranberry sauce and potatoes.

Additionally, The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo have donated over 500 cases of beverages, including juice and other drinks, to be distributed with the meals. FreshDirect has provided thousands of boxes to ensure the meals are properly packaged and delivered.

The Walmart Foundation's partnership with the State of New York this Thanksgiving is part of its overall commitment to assist communities and families throughout the state. During the past fiscal year, the Foundation donated more than $25 million to charitable efforts in New York State, including donations of nearly 13 million pounds of food to local food banks — more than 10 million meals to those in need.

Walmart Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations Jason Klipa said, "We are proud to once again partner with Governor Cuomo and the State of New York to put a little extra joy on the Thanksgiving tables of thousands of New Yorkers. While the holiday season can often remind us that there are many in need, we hope everybody can find even the smallest ways to help those who are less fortunate throughout the entire year."

In addition to the meals being donated this week, Wegmans also works year-round to fight hunger. In 2014 alone, Wegmans donated 8 million pounds of food and raised nearly $2 million for local food banks and organizations fighting hunger in Central New York, Western New York and Southern Tier.

Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. CEO Danny Wegman said, "Hunger never takes a holiday, which is why we support food banks and hunger relief agencies year round in the communities where we have stores. Helping at this time of year is especially meaningful for us."

National Supermarket Association Executive Director Haile Rivera said, "No one deserves to go hungry on Thanksgiving and the National Supermarket Association is proud to help make sure that doesn't happen. We thank Governor Cuomo for organizing this partnership and helping ensure families throughout New York are able to enjoy a full Thanksgiving meal."

Coca-Cola Refreshments New York Metro General Manager Francis McGorry said, "Coca-Cola associates live and work throughout the state, so it’s important to us that we do our part to help our neighbors in times of need, especially during the holiday season. We have a long-standing history of helping communities and appreciate Governor Cuomo’s leadership to share some happiness through the holiday food drive.”

Co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of FreshDirect Jason Akerman said, "FreshDirect is proud to partner with New York State to help our friends and neighbors in need. Thanks to Governor Cuomo's leadership, this effort ensures tens of thousands of New Yorkers will have a warm meal on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving and generosity go hand in hand and we hope that everyone can find a way to help others this holiday season."

New Yorkers looking to donate or volunteer should visit to find their regional food bank.

East Niagara Post is the official media sponsor of Hockey Day in Lockport.


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