iHeart Media’s Stuff the Bus Summer 2017 Collected More than 8,300 lbs of
Food Donations for Catholic Charities at Local Stop & Shop Locations
Drive Restocks Area Food Pantries For Summer when Donations Typically Lag
GOSHEN, NY – “Hunger doesn’t take a holiday” is the motivating message from Chuck Benfer, iHeartMedia Market President, and the driving force behind the bi-annual Stuff the Bus food drive organized by the media group, now in its 20th year. “When students who receive free or reduced breakfast and/or lunch during the school year are home for summer vacation, feeding those extra mouths can be a challenge for families struggling to get by – and the problem can be compounded when supplies at food pantries are typically low during summer months,” said Benfer. “Stuff the Bus helps restock pantry shelves to meet that increased summer need.”
Catholic Charities Community Services in Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties have been privileged to be the beneficiaries of Stuff the Bus for the past three years. The Catholic Charities team of staff and volunteers spend the weekend “unstuffing” the buses that were filled with donations of non-perishable food items collected by iHeartMedia radio personalities, staff, and volunteers at Stop & Shop locations in Newburgh, Hyde Park, Hopewell Junction, and Poughkeepsie.
The Summer 2017 Stuff the Bus food drive collected 8,319 pounds of non-perishable food items that were sorted, repacked, and distributed to food pantries, soup kitchens, and other Catholic Charities’ partners in the four county area. More than 61,000 food items have been collected through Stuff the Bus since iHeartMedia began partnering with Catholic Charities in June 2015.
“Not only is Stuff the Bus a huge boon to Catholic Charities, the food pantries, and the clients with whom we work, it is a shining example of how community members from all walks of life can join together to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Kristin Jensen, Director of Communications and Development at Catholic Charities of Orange and Sullivan. “We are exceptionally grateful to our friends at iHeartMedia and their Stuff the Bus partners, including Stop & Shop, Gallagher Bus Service/Leprechaun Lines, Claudio Cares Foundation, Foam & Wash Car Wash, People’s United Bank, the James Brown Family Foundation, and Viking Industries for their generous support.”
The next Stuff the Bus event is scheduled for November 17, 18, and 19, the weekend before Thanksgiving, at Stop & Shop locations in the mid-Hudson Valley.
Those in need of assistance from a food pantry should contact Catholic Charities for additional information:
– Dutchess County – 845.452.1400
– Orange County – 845.561.1665
– Ulster County – 845.340.9170, ext. 100.
– Sullivan County – 845.794.8080, ext. 250
While iHeartMedia radio personalities, staff, and volunteers help shoppers Stuff the Bus at Stop & Shop locations in the mid-Hudson region, it takes a team of Catholic Charities staff and volunteers to unstuff the buses, sort, and repack the thousands of non-perishable food donations for distribution to area food pantries. The Catholic Charities team celebrated a job well done after unstuffing 8,319 pounds of donations from the Summer 2017 Stuff the Bus food drive.