In honor of NYS Hunger Awareness Day, Assemblyman Joe Giglio (R,C,I-Gowanda) today hosted a puppet show at the Ellicottville Elementary School that seeks to educate school children on hunger and the importance of maintaining healthy eating habits. The puppet show was presented by the Food Bank of Western New York and sponsored by the Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation.
“This is a great opportunity to educate our children on the importance of helping others and sustaining a healthy diet,” said Giglio. “Polla Milligan and the Food Bank of Western New York provide a very valuable, innovative service. We thank them for their efforts and the Ellicottville Elementary School for their participation.”
The puppet theater was designed by the Food Bank’s Development Coordinator, Polla Milligan, and Joan Pedlow, RN RD, in 2006 to help teach children between the ages of five and seven about the Food Bank, hunger and the importance of including fruits and vegetables in their diet. The Food Bank has put on hundreds of shows, entertaining and educating over 25,000 children and adults.
“The Food Bank’s puppet show has been up and running for over three years,” said Polla Milligan. “During that time, we have taught our audiences the importance of nutritious fruits and vegetables, and we have also educated them about the critical work of the Food Bank of Western New York.” Milligan added, “In these difficult times, it is ever more imperative that we get this information out to the public, both those who can help us and those who may need us. Providing food to over 95,000 needy individuals located throughout four counties is a daunting task. With our over 400 member agencies, we are able to say that, so far, we have not turned anyone away.”
The show is part of Assemblyman Giglio’s spring food drive and NYS Hunger Awareness Day, which was March 19th. Individuals that wish to donate can drop off non-perishable food items between now and April 3rd at either Assemblyman Giglio’s district office, 700 W. State Street in Olean, the Gowanda Free Library, the Salamanca Public Library or the Ellicottville Memorial Library. All items will be donated to local food pantries.
“Every week, new families are turning to our local pantries for food to put on their tables,” said Giglio. “Our priority is to make sure we have enough food for everybody who needs it.”