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Wal-Mart gives Food Bank big boost $577,000 to aid operations here and across the state

Wal-Mart and the Food Bank of Western New York joined Tuesday to announce a new partnership to feed the hungry across the state.

Wal-Mart executives came bearing a $577,000 check to help address the problem.

The Food Bank of Western New York will get about $65,000 of that amount, as well as any food collected from a drive Nov. 22-23 in 10 area Wal-Mart stores.

The partnership between the retail giant and the Food Bank Association of New York State is called "Feeding New York: Rolling Back Hunger One Meal at a Time." The initiative will provide funding, food and volunteers to the eight regional food banks in the state.

The check from the Wal-Mart Foundation was presented at the Food Bank distribution headquarters on Holt Street.

In addition, Wal-Mart delivered canned soup, vegetables and fruit, cereal and rice to the local food bank.

It comes at a much-needed time, officials said, as the Food Bank has seen an 11 percent increase in food distributed to member agencies since last year, said John T. Evers, executive director of the Food Bank of Western New York.

Wal-Mart chose Buffalo as the site to announce the statewide initiative because of the city's dedication to philanthropy, said Steven V. Restivo, a director of corporate affairs for Wal-Mart.

"The Buffalo area is No. 1 in terms of contributions to the Children's Miracle Network," which is sponsored by Wal-Mart and supports Women and Children's Hospital, he said.

Besides the food drive next month, Wal-Mart staffers will make a commitment to volunteer at the local Food Bank next year.


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