One of my favorite things about the Southern Tier is the way that our community rallies around its own when times are tough. Sure, sometimes ignorance seeps through the cracks, but that ignorance is quickly squashed by those who genuinely care about our community and her people.

For over 20 years, we've joined forces with CHOW (the Community Hunger Outreach Program) to host the largest food drive in the Southern Tier, collecting non-perishable food to help feed our neighbors, young and old, who are facing hunger this coming winter season. Our Food-A-Bago food drive has always been successful, but thanks to a man named Andy Kipp, we've been able to help even more neighbors in recent years.

Kipp owns the Old Union Hotel in Binghamton and a few years ago, he had the brilliant idea that he should fill a shopping cart with food, donate it to our food drive and then challenge other business owners to match his donation by having us call them out by name on the radio. And with that, the "Shopping Cart Challenge" was born. What started as a challenge between business owners has morphed into something incredible and now includes churches, schools, law enforcement, government officials, and even individuals.

If you're a local business owner or know one, we'd like to join Andy Kipp in officially challenge you to participate in this year's "Shopping Cart Challenge" to benefit CHOW. Donations will stay right here in the Southern Tier and will be given to our neighbors who are going through a rough time and need a little extra support.

Our Food-A-Bago food drive will take place Monday, October 30th to Monday, November 6th. We'll be collecting non-perishable donations at the Hillcrest RV, which will be parked in the parking lot at Weis Market on Upper Front Street in Binghamton. Our donation hours will be as follows:

→ Monday, October 30th-Friday, November 3rd- 6am to 6pm
→ Saturday, November 4th, and Sunday, November 5th- 8am to 8pm
→ Monday, November 6th- 6am to 9am

We hope you'll help us spread the word and we hope that we'll see you at Food-A-Bago 2017. Together, we can make this year our biggest and best yet!