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FOOD BANK RELIES ON GENEROSITY OF DONORS

An unmarked envelope addressed to the Summer Harvest drive contained three items.

One was a coupon from The Buffalo News promoting the fund drive for the Food Bank of Western New York.

It was unmarked -- no name, no address.

The other two were $50 bills.

"Most donors send a signed check," said Donald I. Dussing Jr., chairman of the 1997 Summer Harvest drive.

"We could check out the names, but we do not. Giving is a generous act. Donors who give for men, women and children they do not and probably never will know is a special form of generosity. We praise such acts," Dussing said.

So far in the drive, donations have reached $27,870.58. Every cent goes to the Food Bank; the collection service is donated.

"Others who chose to give may mail checks to Summer Harvest, Box 395, Buffalo 14226," Dussing said. "Gifts of any amount are welcome. We are looking for the widest participation."

Most of the 9 million pounds of food that the Food Bank will distribute this year to its 400 volunteer agencies is donated by retailers, wholesalers, food manufacturers, distributors and chain stores.

And for the third year, banks have joined the drive. Each time a food bill is paid with an ATM card, a donation is made by these banks: Chase Manhattan, Citibank, Fleet, Key, Lockport Savings, M&T and Marine Midland and the NYCE Network.

"Many of those who receive food from the pantries or dining rooms in Erie, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Niagara counties are small children," he added.

"Some day, they will remember how they were helped and in their time help others.

"Some recipients like the aging or homeless may never be able to help others," he said. "The Food Bank helps them anyway."

Each weekday, agencies from the four counties arrive at the Food Bank warehouse at 91-95 Holt St. to pick up the donated or, in certain cases, purchased supplies of food.

Some volunteer agencies come weekly.

Others come monthly.

They come when the supplies they give out need replenishing. Fighting hunger never ends.

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