Fans who bring non-perishable food items to Jan. 9 game
receive two free tickets to future games; culturally diverse food items preferred
ALBANY, NY – CDPHP and Siena Athletics are teaming up to support hunger relief efforts in the Capital Region with a post-holiday food drive focused on ethnically diverse menus. The CDPHP Donate for Hunger food drive, benefitting the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, is slated for Sunday, January 9 when the Siena men’s basketball team hosts Fairfield at 2 p.m.
Fans attending the game are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item, which will be donated to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. Culturally appropriate foods include items such as olive oil, nuts and seeds, dried fruits, dried beans, and various grains. The collection will take place on the arena concourse outside sections 104 and 105.
Fans who donate at least three non-perishable items will receive a voucher for two free tickets to an upcoming Siena men’s basketball home game during the 2021-22 regular season. The voucher may be redeemed for tickets at the arena box office, based on availability.
“After having to cancel last year’s food drive because of COVID-19, this year’s event takes on even greater significance for us,” said Siena College Director of Athletics and Vice President John D’Argenio. “Hunger is a significant issue in our community, and the pandemic has only made it worse. This food drive is always well-received by our fans, thanks to their incredible generosity, and I am confident this year will be no different. We are thrilled to partner with CDPHP on this important initiative and we thank them for their support.”
“We know the pandemic – coupled with a recent rise in inflation – has drastically increased food insecurity in our community,” said CDPHP President and CEO, Dr. John Bennett. “Our neighbors need nutritious food to maintain good physical health, which is why we are proud to partner with Siena College on this important initiative. We are also asking Siena College basketball fans to donate culturally diverse food, so that those of different backgrounds can enjoy the benefits of our efforts,” added Bennett.
More specific examples of preferred foods include nuts and seeds such as peanuts, almonds, cashews, pine nuts, poppy seeds and sesame seeds; dried fruits including dates, figs, raisins and cherries; grains such as couscous, rice barley, grits and masa; dried beans including lentils, split peas and chickpeas.
Food distribution to families increased by nearly 40% in 2020 and has remained at elevated levels compared to the historical norm. The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York provided 41 million pounds of food to the community in 2019; that number jumped to 55.8 million pounds in 2020. The Food Bank expects to distribute 51 million pounds this year, which has been compounded by an increase in the cost of groceries due to supply chain shortages.
“Food insecurity is a year-round challenge; it doesn’t stop after the holidays,” said Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York Chief Executive Officer Molly Nicol. “The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York is grateful to Siena Athletics and CDPHP for hosting this food drive and making sure hunger relief remains visible as we move into the new year.”
The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that collects donated food from the food industry and distributes it to nearly 1,000 charitable agencies feeding the hungry in 23 counties of northeastern New York. The food provided by the Regional Food Bank helps to feed more than 40,000 people each week. The Regional Food Bank is a member of Feeding America. The organization is supported by foundations, private contributions, and fundraising events.
Siena men’s and women’s basketball tickets can be purchased by contacting the Siena Fan Relations Management Center at (518) 487-2202, online at sienasaints.com/tickets, or by e-mail at [email protected].