Food distributions for 1990 have passed a record 13 million pounds, directors of the Food Bank of Western New York were told Thursday.
A large amount of food distributed during December put the food bank over the mark.
John Smith, Food Bank president, conducted the directors' midday meeting in the headquarters of the Community Action Organization.
"Our warehouse is full, and I am comfortable with our financial condition," said Michael V. Smith, managing director.
After crediting The Buffalo News Neediest Fund drive with supplying more food than ever before, Smith added, "I think we will have enough Neediest donations left over to carry us through January and February."
But Smith also said the recession could increase the demand on the Food Bank.
"We are now supplying food to 372 agencies. They are helping to feed 85,000 people. A year ago, we estimated that Food Bank supplies were feeding 65,000 people."
Smith also said he expects that within 18 to 24 months -- and depending on how severe the current recession becomes -- the Food Bank could reach its estimated 21 million-pound food-handling limit for its warehouse at 91 Holt St. Smith said that for Christmas the Food Bank has 8,000 hams and 800 10- to 12-pound frozen turkeys donated by area food agencies.
The unprecedented outpouring of food and money generated additional praise from Food Bank officials.
Thomas R. Heine, president of the Flickinger Division of Scrivner, who was chairman of the 1990 Summer Harvest drive, thanked Western New Yorkers and food industry representatives who gave cash help.
"Many businesses and organizations made substantial contributions to the drive . . . and the support of The Buffalo News . . . was certainly instrumental, but the real heroes who made this drive successful are the people of Western New York who contributed funds cord 13 million pounds
to feed the hungry. "The many small contributions that came in equaled a large sum and made this drive a success."
Heine's office said Summer Harvest contributions so far have totaled $97,508.29 and still are arriving. An aide predicted that when 1990 gifts end, the total will reach $100,000.
The Summer Harvest drive received two major late boosts.
Four Buffalo Bills -- Jim Kelly, Andre Reed, James Lofton and Mike Lodish -- contributed a total of $2,500, which was used to buy food during the appeal broadcast by Larry "Snortin' " Norton, a WGR-FM disc jockey, from outside the Super Duper market at Thruway Mall in Cheektowaga.
Norton's second-year effort was supported by Upstate Milk Cooperatives, Dunkirk Ice Cream, Brach's Candy, Wise Snacks and Super Duper and John's Pizza and Subs of North Tonawanda, which offered a year's supply of their products to those making donations during the Norton appeal. Another late donor to Norton's drive was West-Herr Ford of Hamburg.
Norton's efforts raised $8,640.29 in cash and filled a parked trailer with 29,477 pounds of donated food.
"Norton already is talking about doing something for the Food Bank next year at this time," said Hugo Kahn, a Food Bank aide.