Call it the Food-a-BAGEL or Food-a-bago, the annual effort to raise food and funds for the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse is entering its final days.

Traci Taylor

Earlier this week, a donor referring to the food drive as a breakfast favorite enjoyed with a schmear non-the-less relayed a poignant personal story of how programs like CHOW can be life-changing for those in need.

The Food-a-Bago has been collecting donations each year for two decades and is currently set up in a borrowed camper from Hillcrest RV in the parking lot of the Weis Food Market at 1290 Upper Front Street in the Town of Chenango. 

This year’s collection is on track to smash last year’s record of seven tons of food donated when it ends at 9 a.m.November 11.

The effort began with a single radio announcer from WAAL actually living in a borrowed camper in a supermarket parking lot taking food donations until there was no longer physically any room left in the trailer.  Over the past few years, the biggest food drive of the year has filled campers and panel trucks with tons of food and raised thousands of dollars which can buy four meals for each dollar donated.

Traci Taylor

The goal for this year’s Food-a-Bago is 30,000 pounds of food and $5,200 in cash donations.

Still, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse says it goes through most of the supplies in its 7200-square-foot warehouse in 24 hours and CHOW programs can address only about 60% of the hunger needs in the community with those supplies.