In the Southern Tier, one of the most commendable aspects is how our community comes together to support one another during challenging times.

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For over 20 years, local radio stations, including 98.1 The Hawk, 99.1 The Whale, Kiss 104.1, and 1290 WNBF, have partnered with CHOW to host the largest food drive in the area, providing non-perishable food to those in need.

Andy Kipp, co-owner of the Old Union Hotel in Binghamton, took his giving to the Food-a-Bago Food Drive to another level a few years ago. He came up with an ingenious idea to fill a shopping cart with food and donate it. He then challenged other business owners to match his donation, publicly recognizing them on the radio and on social media. This small act sparked the birth of the Shopping Cart Challenge.

What began as a friendly competition between business owners has now evolved into something truly remarkable. Today, the challenge extends beyond businesses, involving churches, schools, law enforcement agencies, government officials, sports teams, and even individuals. The community has embraced the challenge, eager to support those facing tough times and provide them with the extra assistance they need.

We would like to join Andy Kipp in officially challenging you to participate in this year's Shopping Cart Challenge to benefit CHOW. Your donations will stay right here in the Southern Tier, directly supporting our neighbors who are going through difficult situations.

The Food-A-Bago food drive will take place from October 30th to November 6th at Weis Market on Upper Front Street in Binghamton. Non-perishable donations can be dropped off during the designated hours listed below. If you are unable to physically shop, cash or check donations made out to Music for the Mission are also welcomed. For every dollar donated, CHOW can provide five meals to those in need.

Join us and make a difference in our community—let's come together and show our support through the Shopping Cart Challenge. Together, we can make a significant impact and ensure that nobody in the Southern Tier goes hungry.

2023 Food-a-Bago Food Drive Collection Location

From October 30 to November 6, your favorite on-air personalities from 98.1 The Hawk, 99.1 The Whale, Kiss 104.1, and News Radio 1290 WNBF will be stationed at the camper in the parking lot of Weis Market on Upper Front Street in Binghamton, ready to collect your non-perishable food items and monetary donations.

2023 Food-a-Bago Food Drive Collection Hours

The Food-a-Bago Food Drive operates on the following schedule: Monday to Friday, October 30, 2023, to November 3, 2023, from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, November 4 and 5 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Monday, November 6 from, 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Other Ways to Donate

If you're unable to make it to the Food-a-Bago food drive, you can still help by donating non-perishable food items at 21st Century Pools and Spas on the Vestal Parkway or at Gary's U-Pull It on Colesville Road in Binghamton. You can also make a secure donation through our charity partner, Music for the Mission, through this PayPal link.

What New York Food Banks Truly Need But Never Ask For

Maybe you want to donate to local food banks. What do they truly need? This time of the year, I always think back to this famous AskReddit post on Reddit asking "People who work at or have needed to get food from a food bank, Whats the one food that you wish more people donated and why"? Inside this story, several great items came up that you would never think of.

Gallery Credit: Dave Wheeler

5 Essential Items Upstate New York Food Banks Could Really Use

While any donation to a food bank is appreciated, there are certain items that can truly make a difference and provide essential nutrition for individuals and families facing food insecurity.

Gallery Credit: Traci Taylor