Local credit unions came together to collect nearly 5,000 pounds of food to donate to the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW) in support of the group’s holiday fundraising efforts. The Southern Tier Credit Union Alliance (STCUA) held a food drive from November 30th through December 24th, 2015. In total, the Alliance collected 4,277 pounds of food along with cash donations.
Canadian Pacific previously ran the “Holiday Train of Lights,” which raised food and cash donations for food banks along its rail line. In October 2015, a 280 mile stretch of the track was sold to Norfolk Southern Corp, meaning Canadian Pacific could no longer bring the holiday train to Binghamton communities. The sale created a large void and Southern Tier credit unions were determined to step up and help.
“We knew that we could step up and help the community and make up for the lost donations from the Holiday Train,” said Mario DiFulvio, President of the Southern Tier Chapter of the New York State Credit Union Association. “With the food and cash donations, we can safely say we were able to provide more than 5,000 pounds of food to our neighbors during the holidays.”
The holiday food drive continued a long partnership between STCUA and CHOW. The two organizations previously collaborated on several occasions, including projects like the CHOW Community Garden and the Mobile Food Pantry.
The Southern Tier Credit Union Alliance is comprised of Empower FCU, GHS FCU, Horizons FCU, SEFCU, Sidney FCU, UHS Employees FCU, and Visions FCU. The mission of the Alliance is to embody the credit union mantra of “people helping people,” through community outreach, volunteering and fundraising.
CHOW, through its network of 30 food pantries located in Broome County Congregations and over 30 soup kitchens and community meal programs, distributes over 130,000 pounds of food each month.