VESTAL, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The United Way has already received over $50,000 worth of pledges for a campaign dedicated to combating hunger in the county.

The United Way of Broome County officially kicked off its 2023 Full Plate Project today.

The project collects sponsorships and donations and distributes the funds to the hungry.

The campaign was first established last year and raised over one hundred eleven thousand dollars.

Executive Director of the United Way, Paula Perna says that 100% of the funds raised in the campaign will be given to those in need.

Executive Director of the United Way of Broome County, Paula Perna says, “This year, it’s even worse. The food insecure crisis is worse, so, we decided to run the project again, and we’ve already had several donors who have stepped forward and this is the kick-off. It will run through June.”

She says the demand for emergency food has almost doubled, with local food pantries distributing over 350,000 meals in 2021 to over 625,000 meals last year.

The project has a goal of reaching $125,000 this year, which would provide over 250,000 meals.

Nexstar’s charitable foundation has pledged $5,000 to the campaign and our General Manager Tina Castano presented the check to Perna at today’s news conference.

NewsChannel 34 will be dedicating its broadcast on Monday the 24th to highlighting the importance of the Full Plate Project and its mission to eliminate hunger.