What does it mean to your organization to be involved with the Wine and Food Festival?
Westchester Parks Foundation: We’re proud to be a part of Wine & Food because of what it means for Westchester — people that live and work here get to experience so much of the great food and culture that Westchester has to offer. We love that Burger & Beer Blast and the Grand Tasting Village are held in one of the most spectacular settings possible, Kensico Dam Plaza, and that thousands of people each year can see the beauty of this unique Westchester park.
Feeding Westchester: We are so grateful to be part of Westchester Magazine’s Annual Wine & Food Festival, once again this year. For 9 years now, it has brought people across the county together to celebrate the “foodie” in us. Food is powerful: it gives us the energy to concentrate, work hard, be productive and thrive. Unfortunately 1 in 5 of our neighbors, including 1 in 3 children cannot count on food being available. At Feeding Westchester, it is extremely important for us to raise awareness on this serious issue in our communities. Through our network of 300 program partners, we feed people who are hungry in every single town in Westchester. We tackle hunger from all angles.
Can you give us an update on your charity and its accomplishments in the last year?
FW: This past year, we distributed over 9.3 million pounds of food, equivalent to 7.8 million meals. We’re proud that much of this came from recovering quality food from over 80 local retail partners, and kept that food out of landfills. Nearly 40 percent of the food we distribute is fresh produce like gorgeous apples, carrots, peaches, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and much, much more!
How were you able to benefit from last years’ Wine & Food Festival?
WPF: Wine & Food Festival is such an important part of our calendar. We are honored to be one of the benefiting charities, not only for its fundraising component, but because we are able to get our message in front of the thousands of people across Westchester and beyond that love this event and attend each year. It’s an unparalleled opportunity for us to interact with them and spread our message that parks are a central component that make Westchester such a great place to live.
FW: Last year’s donation helped us to distribute nutritious food to those who need it the most. We efficiently invest in the infrastructure needed to store and deliver food (like freezers, refrigerators and trucks) so that our program partners like food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers, and day care centers don’t have to. This frees them to focus on serving our neighbors who are hungry. With your help we are feeding families, children, and seniors in our community. Together we are Feeding Westchester.
Photo courtesy of the Westchester Parks Foundation
What event are you most looking forward to this year?
WPF: It’s hard to choose between the Burger & Beer Blast and Grand Tasting Village! We can’t imagine a better place to hold such amazing events. The setting really matches the spectacular fun and great crowds of each of these. We love to tell people that we see at Burger & Beer Blast, if you loved this, come back on Saturday and experience Grand Tasting, another amazing event!
FW: We are mostly looking forward to the inaugural Food Truck event hosted at Cross County Shopping Center. As the benefiting charity of this highly anticipated event, we will interact with people to share with them how they can be part of the movement to feed our hungry neighbors. Feeding Westchester mobilizes all sectors of the community to unite in order to help feed Westchester. With everyone’s help, no one in Westchester will go hungry.
How can people get involved with your organizations?
WPF: Parks are for everyone — we seek to preserve one of Westchester’s greatest assets, for generations to come. We invite all members of the public to share their “park story” with us! We know how important parks are to Westchester County, and everyone can get involved with us by donating, volunteering, or sharing their story with us. Visit our website at www.thewpf.org or find out more, or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FW: There are plenty of ways to take action! Whether volunteering with your family or company, making a donation or hosting a fundraising drive, there are so many ways to help end hunger in Westchester County. To find out how to help, please visit feedingwestchester.org or follow us on Facebook (@FeedingWestchester), Twitter (@FeedWestchester) and Instagram (@FeedingWestchester) and use hashtag #FeedingWestchester.