iHeartMedia’s 23rd Annual Friendly Auto Group Stuff-the-Bus Food Drive Helped Catholic Charities Feed Hungry Neighbors in the Mid-Hudson Region

10,500 pounds of food donated at area Stop & Shop locations

GOSHEN With food insecurity mounting in the wake of the pandemic, the need for this winter’s iHeartMedia’s Stuff-the-Bus food drive was greater than ever. The bi-annual drive, now in its 23rd year, collected 10,500 pounds of non-perishable food at three mid-Hudson Stop & Shop locations. The food was donated to Catholic Charities and shared with area food pantries to help feed hungry neighbors.

“Hunger doesn’t take a holiday – and this year, pandemic-related challenges have caused food insecurity to skyrocket,” said Chuck Benfer, iHeartMedia Market President and founder of the long-running drive. “Many families have been turning to food pantries to make ends meet. Thanks to Friendly Auto Group, Stop & Shop and the generosity of their customers, and our long-time relationship with Catholic Charities, the Stuff-the-Bus food drive has helped those who are struggling keep food on their table during this difficult year,” added Benfer.

Catholic Charities staff joined with iHeartMedia radio personalities and staff from Country 107.3 WRWD, Q92, Z93, 96.1 KISSFM, and News Radio 1450 1370 98.5 WKIP to collect donations of food at two Stop & Shop locations in Poughkeepsie and one in Newburgh. Customers’ cash donations were used to purchase non-perishable food, hygiene items, and diapers to help stuff the buses provided by Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster.

The donations were shared with food pantries in Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties.
More than 160,000 pounds of non-perishable food and other basic necessities have been collected and distributed through Stuff-the-Bus since Catholic Charities began partnering with iHeartMedia in 2015.

“Catholic Charities is grateful for this partnership with iHeartMedia, Stop & Shop, and the donors who give so generously to fight hunger in our communities,” said Hector Morell, Director of Catholic Charities Social and Human Services. “Together we are making a difference.”

Those in need of emergency food assistance should contact Catholic Charities for additional information:

– Dutchess County: (845) 452-1400

– Orange County: (845)561-1665, Ext 1931

– Sullivan County: (845)794-8080, Ext 2870

– Ulster County: (845)340-9170, Ext 3000

Or contact the Regional Helpline at CCOSUhelpline@cccsos.org

Catholic Charities’ team members Kathy Beckvermit (l) and Glenn Granum (r) are joined by iHeartMedia Senior Vice President of Sales, Rob VanDerbeck (c), at the 23rd annual Friendly Auto Group Stuff-the-Bus food drive hosted by iHeartMedia of the Hudson Valley at area Stop & Shop locations to benefit Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster’s efforts to fight hunger.

 (l-r) Felicia Kirshner, iHeartMedia Promotions Director, Dominique Mills, Catholic Charities Ulster County Regional Supervisor, Annie, from “Annie in the Morning with Ryan on Q92,” and Walter Gaceta, Catholic Charities CYO Coordinator, helped collect 10,500 pounds of food donations as part of iHeartMedia’s 23rd annual Friendly Auto Group Stuff-the-Bus food drive to benefit Catholic Charities at area Stop & Shop locations.