State, County, City, and Downtown Partners Join for Annual Thanksgiving Food Challenge

BINGHAMTON, NY Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Senator Lea Webb, County Executive Jason Garnar, Sheriff Fred Akshar, City of Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham, the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator and the Binghamton University College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) announced a special Thanksgiving food drive in downtown Binghamton to benefit Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW), a program of the Broome County Council of Churches.

Initially launched by Sheriff Akshar when he served in the NYS Senate, the "Downtown Thanksgiving Food Challenge" asks community members and government employees at the city, county and state levels to donate non-perishable food items to help local families in need next week. For the second year in a row, the BOCES New Visions Law and Government class are helping raise awareness for the cause. In addition, the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator and CCPA are joining in on the friendly competition.

From November 13-17, CHOW collection barrels will be available to receive donations between 8am - 5pm in each of the participant’s lobby*.At the end of the week, items from each building will be tallied to see which team collected the most food. The winner will be announced on November 21.

Last year, community members and government employees at the city, county and state levels donated over 15,000 meals to local families in need through non-perishable and cash donations, with the Binghamton State Office Building delivering the largest donation.

For every dollar donated, CHOW is able to distribute 5 meals to families in need. In Broome County alone, 1 in 8 individuals and 1 in 6 children are food insecure. Each year, CHOW, through its network of nearly 100 partner agencies (pantries, community meals and non-profit organizations), distributes over 2.2 million pounds of food.


Team State

Binghamton State Office Building – 44 Hawley St. Binghamton, NY 13901

Team County

Broome County Office Building – 60 Hawley St. Binghamton, NY 13901

Broome County Sheriff’s Office – 155 Lt Vanwinkle Dr, Binghamton, NY 13905

Team City

Binghamton City Hall – 38 Hawley St. Binghamton, NY 13901

Team University

Koffman Southern Tier Incubator – 120 Hawley St. Binghamton, NY 13901

University Downtown Center (CCPA) – 67 Washington St. Binghamton, NY 13902

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said, “We are looking forward to this year’s food drive and welcome the participation of the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator and the University Downtown Center. We cannot thank CHOW enough for the work they do on a daily basis to address food insecurity in our community. Hopefully, our effort will make things a little bit easier for them during this holiday season.”

Senator Lea Webb said, “I thank Assemblymember Donna Lupardo for leading this important initiative to address the issue of food insecurity in our region to ensure that local families have access to groceries for the Thanksgiving holiday. I am proud to join with my partners in state and local government and community organizations to help raise awareness and provide a location for donations here at the Binghamton State Office Building. Let’s work together to make sure we provide even more holiday meals than last year.” 

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said, "Thank you to our Broome County employees for stepping up to make a difference in our community. We're proud to be supporting those in need in Broome County this holiday season and appreciate everything CHOW does for our community."

Sheriff Fred Akshar said, “Thank you to Assemblywoman Lupardo for keeping this friendly competition alive to strengthen CHOW’s ongoing efforts to feed local families in need. As Broome County Sheriff, I’m proud to team up with Broome County Executive Garnar and host a donation station at the Broome County Sheriff’s Office to collect as much as we can for this excellent cause. No matter the outcome of this year’s competition, when our community’s children and families have enough to eat, we all win.”

City of Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham said, “The annual Thanksgiving Food Challenge is a great way for government employees in Downtown Binghamton to expand on what we’re here to do every day – serve the public. City Hall staff are among the hardest working and most giving people in our community, and I know they’re eager to come together again this year to help local families in need. We’re excited about the addition of Binghamton University to the Challenge, which will mean more families fed this holiday season.”

CHOW Director Les Aylesworth said, “We at CHOW® are so grateful for Senator Akshar, the City of Binghamton, and Broome County’s partnership on this food drive. This time of year, the need for our services is very high and this challenge will be a fun way to assure our shelves are stocked and our neighbors do not go without this Thanksgiving.”

Eric Krohn, Director, Business Incubation Programming, Southern Tier Koffman Incubator, said, "The Koffman Southern Tier Incubator is committed to building and sustaining the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Broome County. This commitment includes ensuring our wider community has access to necessary resources and services at all times, not just during the holiday season. Through programs like CHOW and Toy for Tots, we're grateful to help support and inspire those who need it most and might just be our community's next great creative entrepreneurial mind."

Stacy Marrow, Director, CCPA College Support and Special Initiatives, said “Food is a fundamental human right, and access to an adequate food supply is not just a matter of provision; recognizing food as a fundamental human right requires equitable access to resources. The College of Community and Public Affairs food pantry serves Binghamton University students with nutritious food in a judgment-free atmosphere. Participating in this fun challenge helps us support CHOW and address a significant issue for college students by bolstering wider access to food for students in our community. We are ready to compete!